BandTel Announces Funding, Channel Strategy

BandTel, a two-year-old VoIP company, made its formal introduction to the marketplace on Monday with the announcement of its second round of funding and a sneak peek at its channel strategy, which will be revealed in more detail over the next few weeks.

BandTel provides VoIP termination to the PSTN for high-volume telecom users such as call centers, teleconferencing companies, IVR users and large enterprises worldwide with dynamic routing over facilities operated by Global Crossing Ltd., XO Communications Inc., Level 3 Communications Inc. and MCI (now Verizon Business). The company relies on its own SIP softswitch technology to provide unique capabilities, such as connection call systems via a trunk-to-trunk transfer, echo cancellation and line monitoring for quality-based routing.

BandTel received a second round of funding of $1.5 million. Seagrove LLC led the Series B investment. BandTel will use the funds to further expand its sales and marketing team, invest in marketing and business development initiatives and support the company’s working capital needs.

Among the companys marketing initiatives is a channel strategy wherein BandTel has become a carrier partner to large gear makers, such as AudioCodes, and will be able to sell through those manufacturers VARs.

Chris Dunk, president and CEO of BandTel, explained that BandTel buys the gear from the VAR and places it at the customer premises free to the customer in exchange for a service contract with a minimum term of two years. The VAR still gets his margin on the equipment sale as well as a monthly recurring commission of 5 to 8 percent on the traffic generated by the customer.

Dunk said BandTels network already is certified interoperable with the gear, so it offers VARs a turnkey marketing bundle. He said a 90-day escape clause lets the customer opt out of the deal.

While the company expects to work primarily with VARs already part of its vendor partners programs, prospective agents also are eligible and would be referred to a distributor, such as ParaCon.

The company expects to share the details of its deal with AudioCodes as early as next week, with six to eight more similar agreements to follow, Dunk said.

The company has three channel managers assigned to the new VAR partners and in the midst of hiring additional staff.


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