Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Business VOIP Service: The Key is Quality

If you are going to offer Businesses VOIP service, try to build a better service than Vonage. I'm on calls all day with people on Vonage or home-grown VOIP that terminate calls via the Internet. 99% of those calls sound like a below average cell phone call. Jitter and latency beat up the conversation. Most often, the caller will have no idea that the call quality is less than desirable, but to the person on the other end, there are missed words, etc. It is difficult to concentrate enough to extrapolate what is being said. TDM LD is available all-you-can-eat, why would a business skimp?

If you are selling cheap voice, that's fine. However, most businesses need to have a quality voice service. There are different levels of VOIP.

  1. VOIP inside the office but TDM after the PBX.
  2. Hosted VOIP inside the office, but TDM after the PBX - all traffic to PBX is on-net (off the Internet).
  3. VOIP from phone to phone over the Internet

The last one usually has the worst call quality. I know it costs more to do TDM trunking for LD or to use VOIP Peering in place of Internet termination, but if you sell Business Voice service, sell a TDM equivalent service.

Why do you think so many national services, like Smoothstone and Cbeyond (18k and 29k customers respectively), use MPLS service and provide the transit for end-to-end call quality? At VOIP 2.0, QOS and HD VOIP were hot topics.

People are ready for something better than Vonage. And businesses are willing to pay for it. Your business name (brand and reputation) will be linked to any services you offer.

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