Pacific backflips on SMB VoIP

Pacific Internet has started selling Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services, going against research the telco recently released showing its small to medium business (SMB) target market was primarily not interested in the technology. "Despite all the industry hype around VoIP and convergence ...

Pacific Internet has started selling Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services, going against research the telco recently released showing its small to medium business (SMB) target market was primarily not interested in the technology.

"Despite all the industry hype around VoIP and convergence ... current and intentional use of VoIP, unified messaging and videoconferencing remains low among SMBs," Pacific managing director Dennis Muscat told reporters as he launched his company's annual Broadband Barometer report on 26 October.

Pacific commissioned analyst firm IDC to produce the annual report, which measures broadband usage trends in Australia's small to medium business (SMB) sector.

At the time, the report found only one percent of Australia's 800,000 SMBs were using VoIP in some capacity, while a relatively small six percent planned to use it in the future.

But in a statement released today, Muscat claimed the SMB market was waiting for "an established, trusted player" before it took up VoIP technology.

"There's been a rush to release new products and services in the VoIP space, many of which have been from startup operations," he said.

The telco has partnered with existing partner NEC's NEXTEP wholesale broadband division on the offering.

"The reputation NEXTEP and we have built ... means we're best placed to succeed in this market by selling end-to-end voice and data solutions," claimed Muscat.

"In line with our aggressive growth targets, we aim to secure at least 25 percent of the total business VoIP market by the end of 2007."

While Pacific's current solution uses a so-called analog telephone adapter (ATA) box to connect customers' network to their existing phone handsets, the telco is also planning a PABX replacement for the mid-range SMB market.

Customers do not have to buy broadband services from Pacific to be able to use the telco's VoIP services.

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