Telica/Lucent Combo Bags Oz Deal
Australian incumbent Telstra Corp. is to use Telica's softswitches and media gateways in its VOIP-over-broadband trials, and plans to redirect its current annual outlay of $56 million towards investment in the VOIP equipment as it rolls out the service.
The Telstra deal was already in the pipeline before Lucent made its move, and industry sources confirm that Telica and Lucent have been working together for years (see Telica).
Telstra, which has been offering VOIP to its business customers for more than a year, is taking the plunge into consumer VOIP now as its base of broadband users has reached nearly 1 million.
In a prepared statement announcing the consumer VOIP trials, Telstra CEO Ziggy Switkowski says: "VOIP is the next technology shaping the telecommunications industry, and represents a natural evolution of our network. Telstra intends to fully exploit VOIP, building on our lead in the corporate market, and is now putting in place the capabilities needed to support mass market development."
And if you think the CEO has a great name, spare a thought for the group MD at Telstra's Technology, Innovation, and Product group, Ted Pretty. The investment in the Telica gear will see Telstra launch new services such as "click-to-call, email notification of voicemail, a self-service web interface for management of calls and functions, and eventually multimedia services such as video conferencing."
But like most TDM-heads, Pretty is quick to point out in Telstra's statement that VOIP isn't a replacement for good old circuit-switched voice. "VOIP is not yet a replacement for Telstra's world-class PSTN network in which substantial investment continues to be made. Instead, voice over broadband using IP is expected to be initially attractive as a second or additional fixed line," states Australia's best-looking telecom executive.
— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading
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