Beyond lawsuits: Telcos out to enhance VoIP

Look over much of the VoIP-related news coming out of the largest telcos since the middle of last year, and it might seem like the VoIP business is all about lawsuits. However, Verizon Communications, AT&T, Qwest Communications and others also have been taking steps to improve their VoIP services--particularly VoIP for small businesses--in recent months.

The business VoIP market used to be all about price, and industry trade shows and conferences usually included an obligatory "price vs features" panel. Somehow, competition based on service features always came off as a future consideration. (Having moderated at least one of those panels, I'll admit that we never seemed to break new ground on the subject). However, in the last six months we have seen AT&T introduce Business in a Box VoIP and Verizon offer more flexible IP trunking capabilities for businesses of all sizes, among other announcements. Just this morning, Qwest announced feature enhancements to its OneFlex VoIP suite, including the ability to attach VoIP voice mails to e-mail transmissions.

Hopefully in 2008 we'll see more actual VoIP technology and service innovation from the largest telcos, and fewer patent lawsuits.

For more:
- read this story about Qwest's announcement at Telephony

- Dan