Thought I would share this bit of news that skibare shared with me. Basically, the largest Californian wireless ISP is now offering VoIP to businesses using Level3's (3)Tone Business platform with a purported reach of 250,000 business customers! WOW! As cheap wireless broadband becomes more ubiquitous, this will no doubt push wireless VoIP to the masses further "squeezing" the RBOCs and even the cellular companies.
Check it out:
NextWeb Joins Level(3)Enabled(SM) Partner Program to Offer VOIP-based Services to a Quarter of a Million Business Customers in California
Leading Fixed Wireless Internet Service Provider Will Leverage Level 3's (3)Tone(TM) Business Platform to Offer a Broad Array of Voice Services, Based on Voice-over-IP (VOIP) Technology
FREMONT, Calif., Nov. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- NextWeb, California's largest fixed wireless Internet service provider for business, today announced it has signed a strategic agreement with Level 3 Communications, Inc. (Nasdaq: LVLT - News), joining the Level(3)Enabled(SM) Partner Program to provide an array of core infrastructure services, including voice services based on Level 3's award-winning (3)Tone Business platform. This agreement represents a unique alliance between NextWeb, the leading wireless Internet service provider for business, and Level 3, one the industry's top providers of voice infrastructure services based on VOIP. This relationship has the potential to bring these services to more than 250,000 business customers addressable by NextWeb's California-based carrier-class microwave network.
Level 3 is an international communications and information services company. The company operates one of the largest Internet backbones in the world, is one of the largest providers of wholesale dial-up service to ISPs in North America and is the primary provider of Internet connectivity for millions of broadband subscribers, through its cable and DSL partners. With over 2,000 business customers NextWeb is California's largest fixed wireless ISP -- with the potential to reach hundreds of thousands of customers through its extensive carrier-class microwave network.
"There have been many announcements this year in the VOIP space, and indeed many WISPs have announced plans to provide VOIP," commented Graham Barnes, NextWeb's chief executive officer. "As with all of our business planning, NextWeb has taken its time and carefully selected an industry leading partner, Level 3, for its VOIP service. Our primary goal is to bring to market a service offering that gives our customers the same combination of value and flexibility that we offer in our SuperT, Office Plus and ConT1nuity Internet services. We believe that the (3)Tone Business platform enables us to do this and we are delighted to be partnering with Level 3. NextWeb plans to work closely with Level3 to make these new VOIP service offerings extremely successful."
"We are excited to see companies such as NextWeb embrace the (3)Tone Business platform for delivering voice services to their current and future customers," said Glenn Russo, senior vice president of Channel Programs for Level 3. "We see fixed wireless broadband as an important and growing 'last mile' access technology, and see NextWeb as a potential leader in bringing this type of service to small and medium enterprise customers in California. We are also pleased that NextWeb has chosen Level 3 to be a carrier of choice for its backbone service. We will do everything possible to support their ambitious growth plans, and look forward to a long and fruitful partnership."
Industry analysts have made ambitious predictions for the growth of voice services based on VOIP technology. Research firm ATLANTIC-ACM estimates that retail VOIP will grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 64 percent from 2003 to 2009, reaching $20.4 billion in size.* The bulk of these revenues are expected to be made up of business-based services, such as the type that NextWeb will offer.
In market surveys, NextWeb found that over 60% of its customers indicated a strong, or very strong interest in buying voice services from NextWeb. The company will conduct a series of market trials throughout Q4 of 2004, and plans to roll out VOIP in selective service areas in Q1 of 2005. NextWeb expects the service to be available throughout most of its 3,000 square mile-plus California service area by mid-2005.
(3)Tone Business Service
Level 3's (3)Tone Business service comprises a suite of enhanced voice and data services hosted on the Level 3 nationwide platform. (3)Tone Business service easily connects all company locations and remote employees with the same dialing plan, creating a virtual campus environment, allowing intra-company 4- or 5-digit dialing and forwarding of calls and voicemail messages between locations. With (3)Tone Business service, users can manage all of their office communications needs through any Internet access, browser, or wireless device. With (3)Tone Business service, companies can enjoy significant capital and operating cost savings with an advanced communications system that allows users to manage their own communications needs in real-time.
NextWeb will offer a wide range of voice services, including hosted IP-PBX solutions based on the feature-rich (3)Tone Business platform. Such services provide local and long-distance calling plans, as well as advanced PBX features including follow-me, conference calling, integrated messaging and others. VOIP-based solutions give customers flexibility in being able to buy voice and data services from a single provider, and achieve lower total cost of ownership (TCO) buy avoiding purchasing expensive PBX or Key Systems. NextWeb will offer these services to existing customers, as well as new customers it signs up for Internet service.
NextWeb Business-class Internet Service
NextWeb's business-class Internet service is available in more than 175 cities throughout California. The industry-leading service typically saves businesses thousands of dollars per year by eliminating the high cost of a traditional T1 from the phone company. Because NextWeb owns and maintains its own independent telecommunications network and connects directly to the Internet backbone, the company's service completely bypasses telephone and cable companies, providing customers with significantly more bandwidth at substantially lower startup and monthly costs. The fixed-wireless company guarantees its high-speed Internet service will be up and running for its customers in three to seven business days, compared to weeks or months typically associated with larger wireline carriers.
NextWeb, Inc. is California's largest fixed-wireless Internet service provider for business, providing high-speed service to more than 2,000 enterprise customers. In 2004, the company was named one of the 50 fastest growing Bay Area companies by all three leading business publications in the region. NextWeb's service is available to over 200,000 business locations in more than 175 cities throughout California. Typically installed in just three to seven days, NextWeb's standard Super-T service is 30 percent faster than a T1 at 70% of the price, easily scaling to six times the speed of a T1. The company is profitable and is backed by strategic investors including Asset Management Partners, Cedar Grove Investments, Kaiser Permanente, Monet Capital, Saints Capital, Sage Venture Partners, and Sunsino Venture Group. Additional company information is available at www.nextweb.net.