Business/E-Business
Commentary
8/4/2010
09:24 AM
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Bandwidth.com Enhances Voice Services

Vendors catering to small and medium businesses' voice communications needs are becoming as common as dandelions in open fields. One new entrant, Bandwidth.com, which has been offering such services for a couple of months, enhanced its Phonebooth service by cutting pricing and adding new features.

Vendors catering to small and medium businesses' voice communications needs are becoming as common as dandelions in open fields. One new entrant, Bandwidth.com, which has been offering such services for a couple of months, enhanced its Phonebooth service by cutting pricing and adding new features.The supplier tried to address two top user concerns: improving its service's group calling functionality (such as routing calls to all extensions in a department and to individuals' cell phones) and adding defaults to simplify set-up for new users. The service, which was unveiled in March, features a free local phone number, business voicemail, PBX call-routing features, and voicemail-to-email transcription. Customers, who receive 200 free inbound minutes each month, found that the rate for additional calls was cut in half, to three cents a minute.

Bandwidth,com, which has been supplying network services to corporations for a decade, thought it made sense to layer PBX functions on top if its nationwide network. The Phonebooth service is focused on small business, such as early-stage startups and sole proprietors, who usually have less than 100 employees and often only have a couple of individuals on the payroll. The service comes in two variations, Phonebooth Free and Phonebooth OnDemand, which has a monthly subscription fee of $20 per user, per month. The company stated that more than 10,000 customers have at least kicked the tires of its new service since its launch.

Bandwidth.com has targeted a market that has been gaining a lot of attention recently. Movement to cloud based services and the maturation of the Voice over IP infrastructure have made it simpler to deploy sophisticated voice applications. Along with these market developments has come a bevy of competitors, including telcos, PBX vendors, and various types of managed service providers. Consequently given its relatively small size, the company may encounter some tough sledding as it tries to build up the customer base with its new service.

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