iiNet starts voice network rollout

Telco iiNet has started rolling out voice hardware known as MSANs into telephone exchanges, allowing it to supply its own fixed-line telephony services directly to customers. Like ADSL multiplexer (DSLAM) equipment, Multi-Service Access Nodes (MSANs) sit in telephone exchanges and provide telecommunications services over Telstra's copper wire network.

Telco iiNet has started rolling out voice hardware known as MSANs into telephone exchanges, allowing it to supply its own fixed-line telephony services directly to customers.

Like ADSL multiplexer (DSLAM) equipment, Multi-Service Access Nodes (MSANs) sit in telephone exchanges and provide telecommunications services over Telstra's copper wire network.

"MSANs will revolutionise telephony, like DSLAMs have done for broadband," iiNet chairman Peter Harley said at the telco's annual general meeting last November.

"We have MSAN hardware in three Perth exchanges, with trials being run now," iiNet's managing director Michael Malone told ZDNet Australia by e-mail today.

"We cut over a small number of customers in late March so we can monitor how the whole process works," he added.

The MSAN rollout will allow iiNet, which already has an extensive ADSL broadband network, to stop reselling Telstra's fixed-line telephony services in some areas, and is part of iiNet's strategy of becoming independent from Telstra.

Malone doesn't expect iiNet to start rolling out the voice hardware en-masse until the second half of this year.

Call waiting
Malone also confirmed call centre specialist Genesys's work on upgrading iiNet's embattled call centres had gone live.

iiNet's customers have faced large delays in accessing customer support over the phone in the last few months, due to the integration of Internet service provider OzEmail's customer base into iiNet's billing systems. iiNet bought OzEmail last year.

"This went live in February," Malone said. "Our three contact centres (Perth, Sydney, Auckland) now handle calls transparently, as if they were one large call centre. So if you call us now, you'll get the first available agent who can handle your call, regardless of where they are located."

"The immediate impact has been a sharp reduction in the on-hold time that customers were experiencing a few months ago, thankfully. It does allow us to more smartly manage shifts as well, taking advantage of the three time zones."

Malone added iiNet was hoping to be able to add more features to the system in future.

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