VoIP is VoIP in Any Language

Efficiency, feature-rich service offerings, increased revenue for a carrier, VoIPs triple-pronged value proposition is the same no matter where in the world its being used. But VoIP is a moving target. Todays session on international VoIP will focus on global VoIPs maturation beyond cheap termination.

Moderator Judy Reed Smith, CEO of research firm Atlantic-ACM, will ask panelists to talk about the areas of growth, the features and functionalities they are being asked to offer their customers, any trends they see in what they are offering and how it differs for different segments or geographies. Then I will ask them to bring a case study of one customer who has done very well in developing a business using their service, and what that company has done to find success what segments, what marketing methods and what types of sales methods, i.e. agents, direct sales, the Internet and so on, she says.

Philippe Millet, the vice president of customer marketing and distribution for international wholesale at France Telecom, plans to discuss what mobile carriers, incumbents, ISPs and multiservice carriers are telling him, including the opportunities and pitfalls of international wholesale voice. VoIP is both a risk and an opportunity for wholesale carriers, he says. VoIP is great for carriers to get more flexibility on the routing management and better utilize capacity to lower the access and transmission cost. But he adds, For the time being, were still dealing in minutes, selling and buying minutes to international destinations. How will that change once its undifferentiated IP traffic and not TDM? We dont want to shoot ourselves in the foot.

In other words, a concern is to keep the VoIP business profitable and avoid rock-bottom pricing and commoditization. Millet stresses that carriers cannot ignore the trend to undifferentiated traffic and need to create specific responses and offers that will enable them to continue to provide value.

Meanwhile, adding a regulatory note to the discussion, panelist Francois D. Menard, project manager for Xit télécom, will cover changes that the Canadian radio-television and telecommunications commission is making to the competitive landscape in that country. [I will] demystify the drawbacks of modern regulation and try to [explain] what this means for a U.S.-based VoIP service provider wanting to service Canada, says Menard.

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