A great thing about smaller providers is that they’re always looking at the crazy ideas to come up with something really cool. A great example of that is how SumoFiber is approaching home phone service. Most providers either resell a SIP trunk or roll their own in-house SIP solution. (Veracity is an example of the latter.) SumoFiber took a different tack: why not add inexpensive E911 service onto a Google Voice account? (Update: This is in addition to traditional VoIP solutions.)
The secret sauce is an adapter from a little-known company called Obihai. It’s an inexpensive ATA that lets you hook up Google Voice accounts and use a normal home phone with them. That means unlimited long distance to the US and Canada and cheap calls to pretty much everywhere else. Google Voice is a free service, and E911 trunks are pretty inexpensive (often under $1/mo). They’re doing what I did at home about a month ago, so I can attest to the reliability and seamlessness of the service.
Could you buy the adapter and configure it yourself? Probably. The advantage of the provider doing it is that they’ll handle all of the hardware, setup, and QoS for you. A gearhead like me may be able to figure it out and deal with the occasional service provider hiccup from congestion, but Joe User could find it tricky, especially finding an E911 service provider to provision. Even so, the only QoS I can implement is on my local connection, not all the way to the ISP’s backhaul connection.
This is a great way to add value to an existing service and really embraces the “dumb pipe” nature of an open access network. This is one of the many ways that UTOPIA providers can differentiate themselves against incumbents and each other.
PS They’re also going to be bumping all 50Mbps customers to 100Mbps just like XMission and match the price too.
If you’re a UTOPIA service provider doing something a little off the beaten path, let me know and I’ll be happy to write about it.
As of today, XMission now offers their voice service to businesses as a pure SIP trunk. As with any business service, pricing is on a per-case basis and will require a quote. Hopefully UTOPIA business customers currently paying another carrier for voice service will consider switching.
A lot has been made of the issues with phone service on iProvo and the blame laid at the feet of World Wide Packets (now owned by Ciena). After getting a techincal overview of what’s going on with the devices, it appears that the blame is well-placed. As promised, earlier, here’s the explanation as to why the WWP portals are a big bucket of fail and how UTOPIA managed to dodge most of those issues.
I had the chance to sit down with someone from Veracity yesterday to get a better understanding of what they do and how they do it. One of the things that came up that is the relationship between Veracity and Nuvont, a spin-off company. I know I had a bit of confusion as to the relationship between the two entities. Now that I have the full story, it’s worth getting it out in the open to clear that air.
Remember how Broadweave constantly hammered on the importance of owning thier own phone switch? Apparently it’s all talk and no walk. An insider has revealed that Broadweave resells phone service from Veracity for all of the customers they acquired from MSTAR on the iProvo network. With Broadweave unable to control all of the SIP session from one end to the other, it sounds like subscribers should be prepared for more of the finger-pointing game when their voice service experiences issues. That’ll be a great selling point for the marketers from Telerus, won’t it?
This same insider has reported that MSTAR plans to follow suit and switch their customers on UTOPIA from using NGT to Veracity. They would join Nuvont in selling white box services from Veracity and make XMission the only current provider to not do so. This will reportedly result in a loss of dialing features, voice mail boxes and even some toll-free numbers. Subscribers had better prepare for the worst.