• United States

Verizon Business beefs up its Internet telephony services

Feb 13, 20062 mins

* Verizon Business adds features to its IP Flexible T-1 offering

Last week, we covered AT&T’s post-SBC merger plans to integrate its Dynamic Network Applications IP portfolio with its IP services offerings. Today, we’d like to highlight a similar announcement at Verizon Business, the organization formed after Verizon’s merger with MCI.

Verizon Business last week announced that it was adding several features to its Internet telephony service capabilities, including IP Flexible T-1, some new customer equipment choices, Dedicated Toll-Free over IP, and what the company describes as “advanced fraud protection for Managed IP Telephony.”

Verizon’s IP Flexible T-1 is targeted at company sites with fewer than 24 phone lines, allowing customers to maintain their existing analog key systems and calling features while upgrading to a converged network.

The company also added Polycom’s SoundPoint IP and SoundStation IP phones to its available mix of CPE for Hosted IP Centrex customers. Verizon offers both lease and purchase options.

Verizon Business has also integrated its Dedicated Toll-Free Service with its VoIP portfolio, enabling customers with both Dedicated Toll-Free and VoIP at the same location to use a single connection for both their incoming toll-free calls and their outbound VoIP traffic.

Finally, the company announced it is expanding its patented Sheriff anti-fraud expert system to help protect Verizon Business Managed IP Telephony customers from illegitimate use of their IP PBX phone systems. The service includes 24/7 monitoring and notification, looking for customer-specific irregularities that may indicate misuse.

Our analysis: Service providers not only compete with each other (like AT&T vs. Verizon) but they also compete with private solutions like the IP-PBX. Service providers can compete apples-to-apples with each other by including a wide range of managed IP service options. But when they add capabilities like fraud monitoring and integrated inbound toll free options, maybe service providers can finally get a competitive advantage over the PBX vendors.