Telstra’s VoIP Goes Global

Last week, Telstra Incorporated, the U.S. subsidiary of Australia’s Telstra Corporation, announced the availability of its global VoIP offering, T-VoIP. Dan Kerth, the company’s President and COO, says the service is an expansion of an offering that Telstra Corporation has been providing in Asia for the past few years. “We’re now able to offer that into the rest of the world,” he says.

Telstra’s T-VoIP services can be accessed over the company’s global, firewalled IP virtual private network (VPN). Ilissa Miller, the company’s Product Marketing Manager, says the private nature of the network itself provides a key differentiator for the service. “It’s not just a network that uses IP and extends off to everyone—this is a global, private network that was built to handle MPLS (define) traffic,” she says.

With T-VoIP, any location where Telstra already provides data service (currently in more than 56 countries) is considered on-net—offering potentially huge cost savings on international calls. At the same time, a location serviced by a local PTT [Post, Telephone, and Telegraph administration] or over the PSTN is considered off-net. “Since we don’t own that network, there is an additional fee for that,” Miller says.

One of the unique aspects of the T-VoIP service, Miller says, is the fact that it can be provided along with a customer’s global data network, or independent of it—customers don’t have to purchase other Telstra services in order to take advantage of the VoIP offering. “They can start with voice, they can start with data, or they can start with both,” she says. “We’re giving them that option.”

For companies that do deploy a converged voice and data solution through Telstra, the fact that both are being sourced from the same provider can represent an additional cost savings, by sharing one local access loop instead of two to connect the office location to the network. “By putting both data and voice over an MPLS backbone, you’re converging that over one local loop and reducing cost,” Miller says

The most significant competitor to Telstra’s service, Miller says, will be many companies’ desire to deploy it themselves. But Telstra suggests that T-VoIP promises a significant cost savings for any enterprise that’s spending more than $3,000 per location for voice services, or $2,000 per location for converged voice and data services. “It’s not a tremendous threshold—we’ve chosen that based on the fact that we feel companies will not look at this unless they’re going to be saving at least 20 to 25 percent from the get-go,” she says.

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