Wednesday, February 07, 2007

VOIP Market Shifting

Telephony mag on the VOIP market:

As cable companies capture a greater percentage of consumer voice-over-IP lines, the squeeze is on independent providers of VoIP. But not everybody ispredicting gloom and doom. In fact, global VoIP player Skype is taking square aim at the business market, promising to extend its reach and the savings it offers to enterprise customers. Skype, with Vonage among the best-known and largest independents, is now making a bigger push for business customers. Last month it announced new tools for IT managers to make it easier for them to install Skype software on multiple computers and manage Skype services companywide, including assigning Skype credits and turning on or off Skype access as determined by company policies. Skype officials say 30% of their customer base is now business users. The big impediment to Skype, Vonage and other VoIP players that use best-effort Internet service has been quality concerns. But Skype customer Monoflo International, a Virginia-based manufacturer of reusable and returnable plastic containers, has used the service for more than a year for conferencing and other internal communications without experiencing a quality problem, according to Juan Hernandez, information systems manager. “The quality has been great,” he said. However, Ellacoya, a maker of deep packet inspection gear for telecom networks, said its latest statistics show the quality of best-effort VoIP services has declined over the last three months, even as VoIP market acceptance has taken off. Of the six service providers whose traffic Ellacoya compared, only one had what is generally considered “acceptable” quality based on MOS scores, the industry's measure.

In a related story from

Vonage has required that its equipment providers pay a fee to join the Univerisity of New Hampshire's Interoperability Lab's VoIP Consortium and have gear intended for use by Vonage certified to be compatible with its service by the UNH-IOL. The lab will provide vendors with detailed,confidential test reports pinpointing bugs and weakness in their devices.

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