With voice-over-IP services popping up like summer weeds, providers are predicting that rich feature sets will ultimately win new customers.
To that end, WorldWide Telco Inc. plans to unveil a series of features over the next two months. The New York-based vendor has developed its own telecommunications software platform and customer premises equipment to provide a service it calls wIPphone.
By not having to patch together software and hardware from other vendors, the company retains control over the enhancements it can add, said Eyal Yaari, WorldWide Telcos chief operating officer.
“Its going to become a features war in the VOIP arena,” Yaari predicted.
WorldWide Telcos service strongly resembles that of veteran VOIP provider Vonage Holdings Corp., but it offers more features, according to Yaari. Later this month, WorldWide Telco will introduce a new feature to the service: the ability to hunt through user-defined numbers for routing automatically if the number dialed is busy.
VOIP typically presents potential cost savings by packaging features such as call waiting, call forwarding and caller ID into the service for free. WorldWide Telco sells two broadband-based, business-grade systems that connect to a standard PBX: The WP100 comes with a built-in router and one port, and the WP200 comes with two ports to connect to two telephones or PBX lines.
Yaari does not recommend businesses cancel their traditional telephone service altogether. “If a guy has 50 lines, I dont tell him to cancel all 50 lines,” he said. “I dont know if you want to put your whole business on the Internet yet.”
Hedys Corporate Gifts, a division of Hedys Gifts Inc., has been using WorldWide Telcos service for about a year, said Vice President Eric Sternberg in New York. Hedys previously used calling cards for international dialing, Sternberg said.
By using VOIP for almost all outgoing calls, Hedys is saving hundreds of dollars a month, Sternberg estimated. For international calls, the service has changed the calling culture, he said.