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June 2009 | Volume 12 / Number 6
The Channel Perspective

So You Want to be a Telco

Today, there are not that many barriers to entry into providing telephony services. In fact, if you have a thick wallet, you can get started right away. It is important to understand you and your organization before you proceed. Are you engineering-oriented or marketing-oriented? The composition of your organization will have a significant impact on your implementation strategy and pricing.

Engineering-Based Organizations

Engineering-based organizations tend to have the advantage. They have in-house staff that knows the technology. They can choose one of two directions, either make or buy the switching and iPBX technology to be used. The make direction can be very difficult but also very rewarding. To start from scratch would be time prohibitive, thus one can chose to implement solutions based on Asterisk (News - Alert), FreeSwitch, YATE or others in conjunction with Open SER and other technology.

With any of these choices there will be additional work to be completed. For example, Asterisk has limitations on the switching side and FreeSwitch has limitations on the iPBX side. Given time, these obstacles can be overcome and you can start providing service once you have integrated with your billing solution.

Even with good engineering in house, if the funding is available, the switching and PBX (News - Alert) technology can be purchased. While expensive, BroadSoft will provide you with a high-quality solution that your in-house engineers can enhance and support instead of develop. If you are looking for a similar solution at a lower price point, Ring Carrier’s Ring Provider is a good alternative.

The purchase of the technology will insure that support engineers will be available when something goes work. The acquisition of high end product is generally performed by the more mature and more established telephone companies. Look to see this change as entry-level prices for softswitches becomes more competitive.

Marketing/Business-Based Organizations

If you are a non-technical organization, you are going to need to acquire the technology and services you will be selling in one of a couple ways. You can contact a carrier and resell their services under your brand name. This is an easy way to get started, but it has its drawbacks. When you sell someone else’s services, you are limiting your margin and marketing options. You are also tied to the service levels of the carrier. You need to check the carrier out closely under this scenario including their redundancy and back-up procedures.

Another option for the non-technical auntrepanure with some funding would be to purchase the required equipment and hire people to manage the services. Companies like Ring Carrier specialize in this area providing the wanabe telco excellent support services and high quality product. This will increase your margin and provide a great deal of flexibility in your marketing approach to the business consumer. IT

Don Witt is President of cyLogistics (News - Alert) (

Did you know...

In a new report by Research and Markets ( on business and telecoms software consulting, in 2007, business and telecoms software consulting represented 16 percent of revenue; systems integration, 27 percent; custom development, 14 percent; outsourced operations, 16 percent; and managed/hosted applications, 9 percent. The remainder came from service provided in support of vendors’ telecoms software solutions. Consulting and systems integration companies had the largest share of revenue in 2007, with 26 percent. The “big three” NEMs and ISVs (Ericsson, Alcatel-Lucent and Nokia (News - Alert) Siemens Networks) accounted for 21 percent. IT systems suppliers, and Indian IT services companies had 12 percent.

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