Optus launches VoIP for SMB market

Low cost voice options

Optus today released its Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) offering for the small to medium sized (SMB) market.

The two services, which are available to Optus business DSL customers, include ipPhone Premier and ipPhone Express.

The telco's SMB managing director, Paul Kitchin, said ipPhone Premier was specifically designed for the SMB sector, offering customers the chance to experience everything that VoIP technology had to offer without compromising on voice quality.

"Until now SMB customers have had to accept a consumer style voice product when implementing VoIP in their business. Optus can now offer a fully functioning VoIP solution that doesn't compromise the call quality SMB customers get with their traditional fixed service," Kitchin said.

Optus ipPhone Premier offers 12 cent flat local and national calls for $19.95 per month per service (minimum of two services).

Optus ipPhone Express is a solution for customers who simply require a low cost, additional phone line with 12 cent flat national calls for $12 per month per service with plug and play installation.

Both services offer a variety of features including call routing, call transfer, calling logs, line hunt, Find Me and Follow Me service, call hold, call wait, Calling Line Identification (CLI) and Voicemail.

Kitchin said the Optus VoIP products were in line with emerging SMB Internet technology trends.

"Broadband penetration has really accelerated in the SMB market over recent years and as a result customers are now looking at how they can better utilise their communications infrastructure," he said.

"Optus recognises that SMB's want and need more than the traditional core telecommunication products of fixed, mobile and Internet to complete daily business operations."

Melbourne-based principal consultant at Ovum, Leith Campbell, believes IP is central to the development of Next Generation Networks (NGN) by major telecommunication providers.

And it isn't just about voice, Campbell said the providers will need additional service revenue to support NGN systems and IP offerings are a good choice, particularly IPTV.

He said IPTV holds out the promise of many very attractive features to add to the basic television experience and because its delivered by IP, it provides a much easier architecture in which to innovate.

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