Vonage, TowerStream Tackle Wireless VoIP

Vonage and TowerStream, two companies looking to undercut the Baby Bells, are partnering to target business customers.

Under the agreement, Vonage’s Voice over IP service will be offered over TowerStream’s fixed-wireless broadband networks in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Providence and Newport, R.I., and San Francisco.

The combined offering will be an alternative to integrated T1 lines from Verizon and SBC and could lay the groundwork for business-quality VoIP via WiMAX .

TowerStream’s networks are built on many of the specifications that will be in the final WiMAX standard. Earlier this year, the company optimized
its infrastructure and ran tests in order to ensure smooth flow of VoIP traffic.

“This combination of services starts to poke holes in legacy offerings,”
Jeff Thompson, TowerStream’s COO, told internetnews.com.

Thompson, a longtime Vonage customer at work and at home, said businesses
taking Vonage over TowerStream will see significant costs savings, more
efficient use of bandwidth, faster installation and better service.

The service, which features flat-rate billing, low international rates and
advanced features, is available in all six of TowerStream’s markets. The
privately held Middletown, R.I., company expects to move into another two
markets in the next 18 months, Thompson said.

For Edison, N.J.-based Vonage, which is on track to tally one million
customers by year’s end, the TowerStream pact could improve its business and
consumer customer balance, Mitchell Slepian, a Vonage spokesman, said.

“Presently, Vonage is 80 percent residential and 20 percent small business,”
Slepian said. “The TowerStream alliance should be able to attract
more business customers.”

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