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May 10, 2012

Huge Telecom Touts Value of LCR over Mobile VoIP

By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor

The idea of reducing the costs of communications is not just a business initiative; consumers also want a more economical way to stay connected, without sacrificing quality. While Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is gaining in popularity within the enterprise, it’s also captured the attention of mobile users. Now, mobile VoIP demand is growing – but will it be threatened by least cost routing?

According to a Business Tech article, the popularity and growth in demand mobile VoIP may be affected by least cost routing, thanks to the creation of LCR AnyNet from Cell C, a mobile operator. CEO Alan Knott-Craig suggests this solution will reduce telecommunications costs, while also removing the carrier to entry for the small business seeking the advantages of least cost routing. 

While LCR has proven to be a viable business model, a number of small businesses have been unable to leverage the benefits due to high monthly subscription rates. Mobile VoIP offered a powerful alternative to support a growing number of mobile employees while also leveraging a lower cost option for communications. Cell C plans to aggressive challenge this value proposition.

 A key focus for this LCR provider will be quality of service for the customer base. For Huge Telecom, this availability comes at a time when the company remained one of the few to continue to promote LCR as a strong business model. CEO James Herbst has often defended his company’s go-it-alone strategy in a world bent more toward mobile VoIP. 

Even least cost routing providers viewed VoIP as a more powerful alternative. Huge Telecom competitors such as Altech Autopage, Nashua Mobile and Vox Telecom, which once claimed three of the four leading market placements for LCR service, opted for the benefits of VoIP over traditional methods. 

Herbst has often been at the center of controversy for not taking Huge Telecom the way of mobile VoIP, opting to instead pursue a strategy of Fixed Cellular Routing (FCR). He insists that his company’s decision to not jump on the VoIP bandwagon and focus instead on the underlying principles and basic rules of economics in the market has paid off.

 “We have consistently maintained that market forces will drive down wholesale cellular prices to a point where they are on a par with or better than wholesale fixed-line prices. Quite simply, in Africa, cellular technology is the hero of the present and the way of the future,” he told Business Tech.

Continuing to defend his position, Herbst suggests that VoIP over legacy fixed-lines delivers only a false sense of security when it fails to deliver true mobile VoIP. He continues to promote the value in the wireless last mile.

Edited by Brooke Neuman
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