Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Rogers Launches SMB Hosted VoIP - First for MSOs?

It's been a totally full catch-up day, and my web hosting problems aren't yet fixed - that's another story.

In the midst of everything going on today, I get news from 2 sources almost at the same time about a really interesting announcement from Rogers. They've just launched a hosted VoIP service for SMBs, partnership with Mitel. I suspect this will be based on the Natural Convergence platform, which along with Mitel, is in the Terry Matthews fold. Talk about an all Canadian story!

It's actually a hosted Key System, and details are pretty sparse. So, I'm not clear just how feature rich or price competitive the service will be. Not to worry - I'm working on setting up a podcast with a senior Mitel executive, hopefully next week, and we should get a more complete story then.

Details aside, this is an important story in that a major cableco is coming to market with a VoIP solution targeted specifically at the SMB sector, especially the bottom end - which is Key System territory. As if Bell didn't have enough to worry about with Rogers going after their landline business, and of course with wireless. The plot sure thickens.

To the best of my knowledge, this is the first major cableco to come out with an offering like this. No U.S. MSO has the mix of offerings that Rogers has, and they continue to push the envelope for what the service provider of the future will look like in an all IP world. Only in Canada, eh?

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