ALTHOUGH it currently only has one partner in New Zealand, Australian voice over IP provider TalkNet has its sights on mirroring its rapid growth across the Tasman in this market.
In addition to wanting to find more partners here for its offerings, the company aims to eventually establish a presence in New Zealand, preferably as a joint venture with a local firm.
Managing director Bill Marlow says he sees great potential in New Zealand for VoIP services, but adds that plans to set up shop here are not advanced yet.
“I have not spoken to anybody as yet,” he says.
A local presence will enable TalkNet to provide its complete offerings here, including a link into a local telco for local calling, Marlow says.
TalkNet’s single New Zealand partner is Wellington-based ISP DTS and Marlow is interested in adding more resellers from different sectors of the market, such as network integrators, PABX suppliers and telecommunications consultants.
“I believe there is plenty of room for a number of players,” he says.
The company has 34 resellers in Australia, but Marlow wants to shore up these numbers too on the back of traffic growth of between 130% and 160% a month over the past six months.
TalkNet’s services can be integrated with existing infrastructure, as it is added onto IP-enabled PABXs or can be provided as a web-based or hosted offering.
“We can make customers IP-capable outside of their existing infrastructure, with minimal capital investment, while dialling habits remain the same. Partners can take our technology and network and use it as their own. This would be a big plus for any partner,” says Marlow. New Zealand is moving to VoIP, he says.
“It is just a question of ensuring the offering is not based on the fact that VoIP is just about cheap calls — it is much more than that.”
Marlow does not believe, however, that VoIP is ready to be a full replacement for incumbent public switched-telephone networks.
“It is the next logical step in telecommunications, but until it has 99.9% reliability, switch networks will still be around. However, the call rates, line rentals and overheads of switch network are no longer justified.”