The Week in VoIP

It's been a busy few days, with announcements from Toktumi, VoSKY, BandTel, snom, and SinglePipe.

By Ted Stevenson | Posted May 22, 2008
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Perhaps the most momentous news came from San Francisco-based Toktumi, whose hosted PBX platform for small business was officially launched with the announcement of a Staples distribution deal. We covered it in depth here.

Skype-PBX gateway vendor VoSKY announced some new features that broaden the utility of their technology, including a neat fixed/mobile convergence capability. We updated our profile on the company's product line.

BandTel

Some moves made by SIP trunking provider BandTel indicate that the company is positioning itself for rapid growth.

The Newport Beach, Calif.-based company announced the opening of a facility in Portland, Ore. that will be devoted to inside sales and technical sales support to customers and partners worldwide. The focus will be on providing prompt, high quality responsiveness to BandTel's growing customer base, and the team will be equipped to manage a high volume of customer inquiries and promptly refer them to appropriate channels for delivery of service.

BandTel has also beefed up its sales management team, promoting of director of marketing Joel Maloff to the newly created position of vice president of marketing, and appointing Larry Anthony to the position of vice president of carrier and wholesale market, and Eric Eckman as director of channel sales.

"BandTel's expansion—both physically via our Portland sales office and professionally with the promotion of Mr. Maloff and the appointments of Mr. Anthony and Mr. Eckman—demonstrates the confidence and enthusiasm that BandTel possesses for the SIP trunking marketplace," said Chris Dunk, president and CEO. "Pure SIP trunking services are driving the growth in today's IP telephony juggernaut, and BandTel intends to continue leading by example."

"Pure" SIP trunking, Mr. Maloff told VoIPplanet.com in a recent briefing, denotes services from a provider that is not also selling hosted PBX, conferencing, or other services that would create conflicts with their distribution channel partners.

Moreover, Maloff explained, "We have technology that allows us to have a very extensible environment," offering services all over the U.S. and the world, and which allows BandTel to deliver voice services on the same leased line that's used for data—in contrast to most other providers that require a separate leased line for voice.

snom

Berlin, Germany-based snom technology AG this week announced the availability in North America of its m3 cordless IP phone. We covered the m3 in depth when it was first announced last fall.

To quickly recap, the sleekly designed unit uses advanced DECT (Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications) radio technology, which delivers excellent sound quality over a range of about 50 meters indoors and 100 meters outdoors.

The phone provides multiple lines, call transfer, call forwarding, and three-way conferencing. It features a speed dialing facility with a 100-entry phone book. The base station supports as many as eight handsets (which can have their own individual charging cradles), and will carry three simultaneous calls per line.

"The snom m3's unique blend of mobility, elegent design and advanced VoIP features has has already received an enthusiastic reception in Europe and we are excited by its potential in North America," said Michael Kneiling, CFO and executive vice president of marketing and sales for snom.

Given the wealth of business-oriented features, the company considers the snom m3 to be suitable for both business and residential use.

SinglePipe

Lexington, Kentucky-based SinglePipe Communications is a facilities-based wholesaler of digital voice services or, as CEO Matt Phillips puts it, "a managed service provider."

SinglePipe has put together a VoIP offering, with its own network as the foundation, that includes the BroadSoft feature server platform and has a carefully engineered back end that and web portal that allows SinglePipe to quickly integrate with its customers' provisioning platforms.

"We created that back end so that broadband providers—from day one—could then easily provision their own services," Phillips told VoIPplanet.com, do their ports, pull a MAC address, assign it to a number, turn the device up and be able to manage all of the process all the way through, but not have to see all the stuff that happens on the back end in a PSTN world."

In fact the bulk of SinglePipe's customers are cable providers, second tier providers, who really need a voice offering to stay competitive, "but don't have the capital, they don't have the expertise, and don't really have the time to perfect a platform and get it in place," Phillips said.

This week SinglePipe announced a partnership with "top 25" cable operator Cable Management Association (CMA), that owns and operates more than 40 cable systems in the Southwest and Southeast.

SinglePipe will provide turnkey voice service—both residential and business—for CMA, beginning in its Laughlin, Nev. market, then expanding into other markets in Mississipps, Texas, Nevada, and Louisiana.

Also announced was SinglePipe's integration with Great Lakes Data Systems's WinVoiP module and WinCable billing platform. "As far as we know we are the only North American company that has fully integrated our platform into GLDS's new VoIP provisioning platform," Phillips said. "So that the customer can go in today, buy the VoIP module from GLDS and tie that into SinglePipe and never have to go look at a separate screen."

That is, SinglePipe originates, terminates, and manages calls over its own network, then transmits call detail records to the WinCable system, which aggregates that with data and video billing info to produce a single triple-play bill.

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