Local VoIP provider eyes enterprise market

Australian publicly listed company Broad Investments Limited has entered the broadband telephony market with the launch of a wholly-owned subsidiary BroadIP. It will a focus on the corporate and residential VoIP markets.

BroadIP is claiming to have already secured more than $720,000 in corporate VoIP contracts in the past 60 days during testing of its enterprise offering. The contracts include a number of small hotel and tourism properties, a market segment which BroadIP claims to offer savings of 50 to 55 percent on current telecommunications expenditure.

As part of its launch, BroadIP also announced the acquisition of residential ISP Shiftreload and some 2000 residential customers in a transaction valued at $500,000 - $100,000 in cash and $400,000 in script issued at 10c per share.

Broad Investments' chairman Vaz Hovanessian said with the new customers, the value of this transaction is significantly greater for BroadIP than the dollar amount indicates.

As part of the acquisition, Shiftreload CEO, Michael Anderson, has joined BroadIP as chief technology officer.

"We have signed up a significant number of corporate clients already," Hovanessian said. "We've been testing the marketplace for some time, and the time is right to take our offering to the market. It's a big market - some 20,000 Australians sign up to broadband every week."

Hovanessian expects there will be 4.5 million people with a broadband connection in Australia by the end of 2006, and they are the company's target. BroadIP is finalizing negotiations with US and European VoIP providers for global termination and reciprocal trade.

"We believe we are the first Australian company to provide a bundled broadband, unlimited VoIP and line rental product, and a true, unlimited local and national access plan for residential customers," Hovanessian said.

BroadIP VoIP plans range from $19.99 a month for residential services to $75 per user per month for busness, including unlimited local and national calls and a free Mitel handset.