SBC Invests In Voice Over Broadband



General Bandwidth Inc., a voice-over-broadband provider for carriers, has acquired $47 million in a third round of funding led by Thomas Weisel Partners and SBC Venture Capital Corp., an SBC Communications Inc. company.

This round of funding brings General Bandwidth's total for the year to $83 million. General Bandwidth says it will use its latest cash infusion to fund research and development projects and to continue expanding its business into Canada and Europe. "We made our formal presence in London, just in the last 30 days," says Brendon Mills, president and CEO of General Bandwidth.

SBC Venture Capital Corp. is a new investor in the voice-over-broadband company. General Bandwidth is an attractive company for SBC to work with because it "adheres to industry standards, which is a key element to work within the SBC network," says Keli Flynn, VP of SBC Venture Capital Corp. Flynn adds that SBC is exploring ways to do mass deployments of voice over broadband. This investment is just one step in that direction.

SBC's investment in General Bandwidth shows support for voice over broadband, says Adam Guglielmo, a digital subscriber line analyst with consulting firm TeleChoice. "Big service providers are looking for equipment that has long-term scalability and the ability to evolve over time in voice over broadband and DSL," Guglielmo says. Voice over broadband also adds a new revenue stream for carriers that sell data and voice bundled services to consumers.

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