Look Where the Needles Pointing

 
 
By Ted Smalley Bowen  |  Posted 2001-01-29
 
 
 

This countrys mature telecommunications infrastructure has vendors looking abroad for VoIP opportunities. In terms of infrastructure equipment and customer demand, the relatively immature communications networks of some countries make them ideal targets for vendors.

"Its China, India, Taiwan, Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico. Those are the countries where theyre building new networks, and where the [state-run carriers] are really lazy and slow," says Scott St. Clair, VP of communications at Netspeak, a VoIP systems provider in Boca Raton, Fla. In some markets, comparatively high second-line costs and low performance and availability expectations bode well for VoIP providers, he claims.

"Weve been building international [business] infrastructure, hiring people for Asia and Latin America, hiring service engineers, opening offices, and forming relationships with resellers whore there," St. Clair says. "There are much better prospects overseas, because tele-density is so much lower. In countries like China and India, and continents like South America, theyre building telecom infrastructure like crazy, and theyre not going to build it using 20th century technology. Theyre going to use 21st century technology."

Because they can be cheaper to operate than traditional voice networks, and offer a degree of location independence, IP networks suit such new projects, according to St. Clair.

"An IP network can terminate long-distance traffic, terminate wire line phone calls from cell phone, and can be used to offer consumer long distance, calling cards or post-paid subscriptions. And, an IP backbone can offer services to enterprises, like voice VPNs and calling cards," he says.

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