Small business likes NGN capabilities, though web-portal reckoned 'awkward'

Telecom's IP voice-phone network could be a winner, says small business triallist

Maitland Holdings director Grant Richardson says Telecom’s next generation network trial gave him “a landline phone that works like a cellphone.” Even the “smartest” of the desk phones in his company, he says, did not give him the ease of searching for the name of a contact then clicking twice to dial the number, as the NGN phone-desktop computer combination gave him.

That’s the kind of capability you get with a modern cellphone, he says. The system also logs inward, outward and missed calls for review. Add efficient call forwarding and find-me/follow-me capability and Telecom may have a winner, he says.

Richardson was one of the few small-business operators in a trial of Telecom’s next generation voice phone capability that was aimed chiefly at domestic users.

Besides the ability to communicate using one number for landline and cellphone, there’s the economy of only having one IP connection for all instruments. The small head office of Maitland only has two desk phones anyway, for Richardson and a colleague, but the savings on a larger operation should be major, he says.

Voice quality on national and international calls was “just like a normal phone,” he says. “You wouldn’t know it was all going over [internet protocol].”

The web portal for setting up calling parameters and user lists was one of the features Telecom says proved most attractive to its home users. Richardson found it rather awkward to use. Smooth as the “click on a name” dialling is, he says it could still be simplified. “I can’t see why there are two clicks when there could be only one.”

Is he likely to become a long-term user when the NGN network is fully launched? “That depends on the size of the bill,” he says.

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