Earlier this week, Brussles-based Voxbone SA, global provider of direct inward dial (DID) and VoIP virtual phone numbers to carriers, call centers, ITSPs, and enterprises, announced it has joined Stealth Communications’ Voice Peering Fabric service or ‘VPF,’ which functions as a meet-point for service providers and enterprises to exchange voice and telephony related services.
As a VPF member, Voxbone can now interconnect with carriers and enterprise to buy, sell and peer DID/termination services across a private IP network. Additionally, through the use of the VPF’s ENUM Registry, Voxbone can now send and receive calls with VPF members directly, completely bypassing both the public telephone network and the public Internet.
“We are committed to providing our customers with the highest levels of service quality combined with highly competitive pricing,” said Rodrigue Ullens, cofounder of Voxbone. “Joining the VPF is consistent with both of these goals.”
“Up to now,’ Ullens told VoIPplanet.com, “if a customer wanted to connect to Voxbone they had several options. One was to receive the call over the [unmanaged] Internet. Another was to seek interconnects to one of our local points of presence. But we don’t have points of presence all over the U.S. By connecting through the VPF, we allow anyone using a service supported by the VPF can get direct to Voxbone without going through the Internet. And this completely insures the quality, all the way to the customer,” he said.
Ullens cited another reasons for choosing the Voice Peering Fabric solution in a world where there are multiple peering providers:
“We really like the fact that they are a technical enabler,” he explained. “They provide us technical connectivity directly to our customers, but without being in between. The VPF does not resell our service. We keep the relationship with our customer—still sell the product to the customer—but using the technical infrastructure of the VPF.”
There’s a legal aspect as well. “Numbering is much more regulated than IP addresses,” Ullens explained to VoIPplanet. “It’s something that lots of governments really want to control.” Reseller relationships, where the original seller is blind to who the ultimate customer may be, “would be a problem for us,” Ullens said. The VPF model, which makes it technically easy without clouding the contractual relationships is a perfect fit for Voxbone, according to Ullens.
The market in virtual VoIP numbers is a thriving one. Not only do residential VoIP services like Vonage and Packet8 offer inexpensive local numbers, they’re available through free or near-free VoIP services like Skype and Gizmo Project. Call centers, calling-card vendors, and distributed enterprises depend on them. Voxbone provides such numbers in over 50 countries, over 4,000 cities, according to Ullens.
The main reason virtual numbers are attractive is cost. In the TDM world, you can get a number pretty much anywhere in the world, but you’ll pay per-minute charges for using it, and those will be pretty hefty. “With IP, everything is based on volume per month,” Ullens pointed out.
Flexibility is another advantage. “If your customer suddenly wants to increase his capacity—if for example, he’s planning a big marketing campaign and he expects a lot of calls on this number,” he explained, “he can upgrade in just a few days—he can double or triple his capacity, which in the TDM world could take several months.”
Summing up the advantages to Voxbone of membership in the Voice Peering Fabric exchange, Ullens said: “It’s a major step for us, because on the VPF in the U.S., you have a lot of VoIP players, and since U.S. is such a major market it will allow us to really directly go to these customers and offer them more services right away.