NextWeb Breaks Out of California, Into VoIP

By Ted Stevenson

May 11, 2005

Not only is the California WBA provider moving into new geographical territory, it's adding branded IP telephony to its roster of services.

There are big changes afoot at Fremont, Calif-based NextWeb, Inc., a leading West Coast provider of wireless broadband access.

Yesterday, NextWeb, announced the first significant foray out of its home territory (California) into nearby—and rapidly growing—Las Vegas, Nevada. This came on the heels of the company's announcement of the roll-out of wireless VoIP service for its SME customers through a strategic partnership with VoIP facilitator CommPartners.

The NextWeb-branded voice service is so new, NextWeb Director of Marketing and Business Development Eric Warren told EnterpriseVoIPplanet, that "we're just getting ready to do the first installs now."

Getting up and running
In fact, NextWeb is prepared to handle any and all aspects of setting up the service that its customers require—and this will vary from company to company. "Larger enterprises will probably handle their own installations," said Warren. "But we have a lot of smaller customers, like medical practices, law offices, and the like, where there really is no IT staff. We can handle all the details for them,"

Typically, NextWeb will perform a network assessment and consult with IT staff or other managers about whether to go with IP phones or stay with analog phones. In the former case, NextWeb will provide and install Polycom SIP phones; in the latter they'll hook up the necessary terminal adaptors.

One stop shopping
Pricing for NextWeb's VoIP has not been finalized, but it will be quite competitive, Eric Warren assured Enterprise VoIPplanet. "Typical pricing in the VoIP business is about $20 per month per seat for basic voice service or roughly $30 a month for 'enhanced' seats" (i.e., with all the bells and whistles features VoIP can provide), he said.

"We'll probably offer a bundled solution for new customers," Warren continued. The basic bundle, T-1 class Internet connectivity with five to ten phone seats, would be "at a very competitive price," compared to the $500 to $1,000 per month for the same services with PSTN calling, according to Warren.

Concerning quality, Warren pointed out that "NextWeb engineered its network to deliver high reliability, enterprise-class service, with low packet loss. Delivering VoIP on top of that is not as much of a challenge as it would be with a less robust network," he concluded.

The convenience of having both Internet and phone billed to a single vendor should also contribute to the appeal, according to Warren.



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