Walker Wireless introduces voice service

Walker Wireless has taken another step towards the wireless local loop with the demonstration of a new voice service using Ericsson VOIP technology.

Walker Wireless has taken another step towards the wireless local loop with the demonstration of a new voice service using Ericsson VOIP technology.

The company demonstrated Voice over Walker Wireless (VOWW) at the Wireless Data Forum at Auckland's Alexandra Park yesterday.

Walker appears to have leapfrogged Ihug, which has previously outlined a vision of a local loop based on its wireless network - but Walker isn't rushing to bring competitive voice services to the residential market. The service will be offered as an add-on for Walker's existing business customers.

Walker CEO Paul Ryan says the best feature of the service is that it doesn't need any additional infrastructure investment at the customer's business.

"There's no provisioning of cables or other infrastructure," he says. "As long as customers have the bandwidth, we can give them access to the Ericsson IP telephony platform and they will be able to start making telephone calls using their broadband connection."

Ryan says customers will only buy the service if the telephone calls had the same quality of service as existing calls.

"We're confident that you won't be able to tell the difference between a regular call and a Voice over Walker Wireless call."

Ryan says Walker is in a strong position to add new services like voice and media because of the scalability of its network.

"Once a customer has a broadband connection there's no need to go back to them to provide more equipment or infrastructure – we can simply provision more bandwidth as required."

Three new investors, Todd Capital, investor Craig Heatley and Warehouse owner Stephen Tindall, last week each took a stake in Walker Wireless to provide the capital for a rapid rollout of a nationwide network and the development of new products and services.

Walker is in discussion with a number of partners who could deliver telephone calls to both local and international destinations, according to Ryan.

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