• United States
by Steve Taylor and Larry Hettick

VoIP is calling, but are carriers listening?

Jun 30, 20032 mins

* Voice over IP is a force to be reckoned with

Attention, carriers! WAKE UP, local exchange carriers! Maybe nobody told you, but voice over IP is here to stay. And it’s not just Steve and Larry who agree on this. Lots of little signs are pointing in the same direction – if you want to keep your market share for voice services, you must begin to offer VoIP services and prepare for the plethora of new services to follow.

Any of you old-time phone company guys and gals remember the world before Centrex? Do you remember why you offered Centrex in the first place? That’s right, you offered Centrex because your enterprise voice customers were switching to something called a PBX. They wanted something more advanced than dialtone, and ended up taking money from your pockets when they switched to a PBX because they could share a few phone lines among many more end users. So you countered with a Centrex service offering to help the enterprise reduce their inter-office call costs and slowly added the same productivity enhancing features like call transfer and three-way calling that the PBX offered.

Remember why you added voice mail services? Because the answering machine and, eventually, more advanced voice mail systems were integrated into the PBX. And don’t forget – these two services also helped you increase your call completion rate so you didn’t have to waste your precious infrastructure resources on “ring no answer” and “line busy.”

Well, history is repeating itself. VoIP is beginning to take away some of your core service revenue. So you can stand by and let others take money from your pockets, or you can join in on the action. Think you don’t have that much competition? Think your local loop will protect you? Think again.

The good news is that Steve and Larry will give you a few examples and a few pointers along the way next time and in the weeks to come. In the meantime, wake up your phone company friends and share this newsletter with them.