What can U.S. companies learn from European business telecom?

* Business telecom services in Central Europe

While we’ve discussed the topic before, many enterprises still face the choice of selecting an IP PBX, a hosted solution, or a mix of the two. We’d like to highlight a worthwhile advisory report written by Dustin Kehoe Current Analysis’ principal analyst of business telecom services in the Central European markets. Dustin’s perspective is particularly valuable since he brings into the discussion some key points about multi-national deployments that cross country borders. The report highlights can be found here.

Dustin looks at the pros and cons, strengths and weaknesses of the services options available to enterprises based in Central Europe, including choices for the premise-based and hosted IP PBX, IP Centrex, Voice-over-DSL, Integrated Access and SIP Trunking.

For example, central Europe’s VoDSL providers offer free on-net calling to other locations connected to the network along with very competitive dialing plans; the market is gradually gaining more ground as broadband penetration increases across Europe. However, as offered by the region’s providers, VODSL lacks the applications and value-added services afforded by other choices while security could be a concern because the VoDSL plans offered may allow user traffic to “touch the public Internet.”

When it comes to SIP trunking offers, the report says “despite customer demands, especially for SIP Trunking, very few service providers are offering standard services in Europe,” although Verizon Business is one of the first carriers to offer SIP trunking (as well as Integrated Access) and is perhaps one of the most dangerous ‘up and comers’ in the European IP Telephony market.

Our analysis: While IP telephony doesn’t suffer the same historical differences in European vs. American standards (i.e. the T-1 vs. the E-1), markets do differ widely based on regulatory environments and infrastructure approaches. It’s interesting to note that Verizon is taking some “American” approaches to IPT to Europe. Maybe it’s time for American companies to look across the pond to see what they can bring back to the United States. Our thanks to Dustin for his insights.

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