VOIP services

Smaller Cable Operators Dial Up Alianza

Making further inroads into the North American cable market, Alianza has snagged three more independent cable operators for its cloud-based VoIP platform.

Alianza Corp. , a Utah-based company that entered the cable market last year, announced deployment deals Wednesday with the three new smaller operators -- Blue Ridge Communications in Pennsylvania, Shrewsbury Electric (SELCO) in Massachusetts and WEHCO Video in Arkansas, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Texas. With the signings, Alianza now has deals with five small to midsized cable providers in the US and Canada, having landed Vyye Broadband and Spanish Fork Community Network previously. (See Alianza Powers Voice for Spanish Fork Community Network.)

Under the latest deals, Alianza will migrate the residential and commercial VoIP subscribers of the three cable operators from their current softswitch infrastructure to the vendor's Cloud Voice Platform. Alianza offers that next-gen VoIP product in conjunction with Level 3 Communications Inc. (NYSE: LVLT)'s Carrier Cloud Voice Solution to deliver a more comprehensive suite of voice services to its customers, including hosted IP-PBX and SIP trunking.

With many cable VoIP networks now a decade or more old, Alianza is betting that it can cash in on a refresh cycle, as operators seek to upgrade their aging, out-of-date systems for greater capabilities and lower operational costs. The first group of providers to delve into VoIP must now figure out how to position their voice services for the next decade.   

"A lot of these cable operators will be facing decisions this year, next year or definitely in the next five years about next-gen voice solutions," said Kevin Mitchell, VP of marketing and product for Alianza. "It doesn't matter the size of the cable operator. They're all going to need a next-gen solution."

Alianza is also counting on strong interest among cable operators, especially small and midsized operators, in expanding further into the commercial telecom space. Although the large US MSOs are all active in this space, many smaller operators are just heating up to compete in the market.

"What's really driving interest are all the SMB opportunities," Mitchell noted. "There are millions and millions of SMBs in the US and Canada and they're largely stuck on TDM solutions."

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In the congested cable VoIP space, Alianaza is taking on such well-established players as BroadSoft Inc. , Metaswitch Networks , Genband Inc. , Net2Phone Inc. (Nasdaq: NTOP), Momentum Telecom and Big River. But Mitchell thinks that Alianza could still become a dominant force in the market with its cloud-based product and its integration with Level 3's voice solution.

"We're talking to quite an additional number," Mitchell said. "We're talking to everyone."

— Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading

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