Woosh strikes voice deal with Telecom

Interconnection agreement is a major step towards offering a commercial voice service

Woosh's long-promised voice service is one step closer after the Auckland-based wireless network provider signed an interconnection agreement with Telecom.

Woosh’s commercial and legal manager, Nick Clarke, says the agreement — which will allow Woosh voice customers to call, and receive calls from, Telecom customers — came after a hard-fought battle.

“It’s been an intense period of negotiation, with give and take on both sides to achieve something we both can live with,” he says.

Woosh has long promised to deliver a voice service but ongoing problems with latency have meant the company had to rethink its approach. When Woosh launched in September 2003 the company said it would have a voice service by Christmas that year.

In July this year, chief operating officer Rich Cane told Computerworld the company was trialling voice services internally and that the technical work being done was "groundbreaking". He expected to start a "friendly" trial as soon as possible.

Woosh is holding a press conference later this week and is widely tipped to be announcing its voice service launch date.

Woosh claims to have more than 15,000 customers and plans to increase its network speeds with a planned software upgrade to HSDPA. Currently, Woosh offers a 250kbit/s service but could increase that to 500kbit/s and even 1Mbit/s by the end of the year.

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