Summary:

ð SBC just announced a new VoIP service for midsize businesses in major cities, across all of the US.ð Like traditional VoIP, this service will render the ability to consolidate voicemail and email, forward calls to other phones, call from a PC, and conduct conference calls […]

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SBC just announced a new VoIP service for midsize businesses in major cities, across all of the US.ð Like traditional VoIP, this service will render the ability to consolidate voicemail and email, forward calls to other phones, call from a PC, and conduct conference calls from a web browser.ð The service will be available immediately in 18 cities.ð Soon after, SBC wants to get in 30 cities, including NY, by the end of the year.ð It wants to be in all metropolitan areas by YE 04.

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We believe this is major news!ð Until now, RBOCs only saw competition from others outside the RBOC industry (Cable, VoIP, UNE-P, etc.).ð Now, SBC is crossing other territories going after the likes of Verizon, BellSouth, and Qwest.ð A new precedent is being set.ð We cannot believe that these industry heavies take lightly to this.ð We believe shots back are likely to ensue.ð This means that the rivalrywithin the RBOC industry just went up.ð We believe that this will likely lead to a new round of pricing pressure.ð Aggressive attacks at each other to pilfer entrenched business bases could be the next step. Additionally, we have to believe that this will lead to less lobbying power at the RBOC levels since unspoken alliances may have been broken. Things could get ugly!

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Take away: we believe this recent announcement by SBC to go outside its territory and inside its previous peer territories will roil the RBOC industry.ð In turn, the competition could be taken up a notch, which would also serve to hurt the greater telecom industry.ð We don’t like the way the RBOC industry is heading.ð

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