Bright House Networks, the nation’s sixth largest cable company, recently launched a hosted VoIP solution targeted at small and medium-sized business customers who have between 5 and 30 lines. The hosted voice service is based on a platform acquired when Bright House bought Telovations late last year. Bright House joins other cable operators such as Comcast and Cox Communications who also offer hosted VoIP.
The cloud-based service is provided over a dedicated data line and includes any needed hardware and maintenance in the monthly rate. Bright House also provides installation and data network upgrades as a professional service needed to support the VoIP solution. Customers can select from four feature packages (Premium, Business, Mobility, and Conference) and five HD-voice-capable devices from Cisco and Polycom. Standard calling feature prices start at $33.95 per user, per month, with a two-year agreement, and customers can add optional features including unified messaging, mobile follow-me features, and other premium services.
In other news, we’ve occasionally highlighted wireless voice as a substitute for wireline voice, and this continues to be an option for both business and consumers who want to “cut the cord.” In an interesting evolution of wireless substitution, AT&T is now offering a purely wireless “double play” that also brings new meaning to BYOD.
Called AT&T Wireless Home Phone and Internet, the service features broadband access and unlimited domestic voice calls, delivered to all-in-one tabletop device. Broadband access is provided through the AT&T 4G LTE network.
Customers have several plan options, including a $20/month unlimited nationwide calling plan, or as an additional voice service to a Family Talk plan for $9.99/month -- combined with 10GB, 20GB or 30GB monthly data packages for $60, $90 or $120 month, respectively. Other plans are also available. AT&T Wireless Home Phone and Internet is a particularly good option for customers in areas where only slower fixed broadband speeds are offered, and customers can take the service with them to remote work locations or when traveling.
The AT&T service is now offered in a limited number of markets, and no word yet as to when this might be rolled out nationally.