Optus has stepped forward as the first major telco to offer Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) to the small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) sector with two new VoIP services set to launch later this year.
The new services, branded ipphone Premier and ipphone Express will run over Nortel's new CS2K switch, which Optus SME managing director, Paul Kitchin, says had been specifically tailored for SME customers and is an improvement on the IP Centrex platform.
Optus did not make clear the differences between the two services but stated ipphone Premier would be sold as a bundled deal of internet, intranet and voice services while featuring the ability to replace the need for large numbers of legacy fixed voice lines. ipphone Express would be offered as a simple, low cost solution tailored for businesses needing additional phone lines.
"Optus' ipphone Premier product will offer a business grade VoIP solution to customers with a level of sophistication not yet produced by current VoIP service providers," Kitchin says. "The launch of Optus ipphone Premier will transform the way SMEs do business. With this VoIP product our customers will be able to enjoy the benefits and flexibility of the internet while continuing to experience the same level of call quality they have become accustomed to on their current fixed line services."
The Optus ipphone Premier service will run over the Optus ULL DSL network and the Optus ipphone Express service will be available anywhere a customer can access an Optus DSL connection. The service is scheduled to launch in the second quarter of 2007.