SBC adds to VoIP line

FRAMINGHAM (02/20/2004) - SBC Communications Inc. this week announced service options that allow businesses to add secure IP features and services to their existing voice infrastructure.

SBC's Multimedia Communication Solutions offerings, based on Nortel Networks Corp.'s Multimedia Communication Server (MCS) 5100 platform, are targeted at businesses with established PBX and Centrex services that are looking to adopt VoIP-like calling features without overhauling their networks. The new offerings are an addition to SBC's PremierSERV line of hosted and customer premises equipment-based VoIP products.

With MCS, SBC consultants install and maintain the MCS 5100. The platform delivers features such as call screening, call logging, picture caller ID, desktop video calling, and integrated instant messaging while allowing businesses to maintain the functionality and numbering plan of their current voice network.

"This adds another component to differentiate (SBC's) service for users that may not want to migrate all of their existing phones to IP, yet still want to have some of the features that the new IP services offer," states analyst Counse Broders of Current Analysis. "This could help SBC with new revenue streams, as well as up-sell services to its current client base. The company needs to not only have its VoIP offerings, but options for its multitude of existing clients that may not be ready to fully embrace IP telephony, yet want to start tapping some of its capabilities and advantages."

Currently, system maintenance, management, and monitoring services are available. A fully managed offering for the MCS 5100 is under development and will be introduced later this year, SBC says.

Other SBC VoIP service offerings include PremierSERV Hosted IP Communications Service (HIPCS), which integrates customized applications with business voice-only systems through a Web browser-based interface; and SBC PremierSERV Total IP Communications Solution, which provides a premises-based system that enables businesses to migrate toward a single network for voice, data and video, reducing network costs.

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