Bells Battle for VoIP?

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New Telephony: “This merger will likely bring an end to the subtle truce between the RBOCs, pitting SBC head-to-head against its peers in far more situations than at present,” Morgan Keegan analysts say in a research note. VoIP was mentioned several times in a press conference held Jan. 31, by both Ed Whitacre, chairman and CEO of SBC, and AT&T Chairman and CEO David W. Dorman, but few specifics were discussed. An SBC spokesperson said the new company would develop VoIP “by building on AT&T’s start in VoIP and other IP-related services. We’re also focused on introducing new IP services for our enterprise customers, and seeing those services migrate to the small business and consumer segments. We’ll continue AT&T’s VoIP offering outside of SBC’s traditional service area. Beyond that, it’s too early for us to comment on specific VoIP plans.” What do you think folks? Weigh in with your comments!

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Aswath Rao

It is always risky and foolhardy to predict what somebody will do. With that caveat here go I: It is not surprising that Whitacre mouthed some pleasantries about VoIP; otherwise the Street would have labeled him Luddite. But we noteworthy segments is what the spokesman said: they will start with enterprises and then move to small business and homes. For me this means that they will focus on IP Centrex first. Unlike other IP PBX offerings, IP Centrex is anchored in PSTN and is a technology solution that enhances the traditional PSTN service. They will also offer a nominal VoIP service to influence other VoIP service providers. It looks like many commentators and FCC itself agree on this. FCC has placed some explicit restrictions on SBC in the recent ruling regarding TipTop tariff.

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