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Quality Determines Cable VoIP Success
Denise Culver

If there is a single, resounding message to find in the rush to build out VoIP networks, it should sound something like this: Think quality first.

After all, every type of operator is rushing to be the first to get VoIP service up and running in an effort to attract customers. The first target was consumers, who were promised low-cost triple- and quad-play services. But as consumers became harder to attract largely because they do not want to go through the hassle of changing providers for multiple services operators looked to the enterprise market for fresh revenue opportunity.

But earlier entrants especially telcos learned that it does not matter whether they have VoIP networks to dangle before enterprises if those networks are not reliable. While consumers might be willing to put up with poor voice quality or dropped calls to save a buck, enterprise customers are not. They also learned that it is more difficult to test and monitor for quality issues after a network is running and customers are complaining than it is to test before the network is complete.

This is why cable operators have a great opportunity to get a leg up on the competition in the VoIP race. While cable operators certainly have started building out VoIP networks, they have not yet taken on as many enterprise customers as their competitors. This provides them with the perfect opportunity to slow down, evaluate their networks for quality of service (QoS) and quality of experience (QoE) issues, and implement test and measurement (T&M) applications before adding vital enterprise customers to their VoIP networks.

These ideas are discussed more thoroughly in the new Heavy Reading IP Services Insider, "Enterprise VoIP Over Cable: QoS Holds the Key to Success." Companies analyzed in the report include: Empirix Inc. ; EXFO Inc. (Nasdaq: EXFO; Toronto: EXF); GL Communications Inc. ; Ixia (Nasdaq: XXIA); JDS Uniphase Corp. (Nasdaq: JDSU; Toronto: JDU); Metaswitch Networks ; and Spirent Communications plc (NYSE: SPM; London: SPT).

The capital cost of implementing service assurance is nominal less than $5 per subscriber but these programs provide quick return on investment. The most significant returns, of course, are customer retention and customer satisfaction. Service assurance also ensures the security of the network, which is vital as denial-of-service (DoS) attacks become more prevalent with the addition of new features and services to VoIP networks.

Perhaps most important for cable operators is the fact that proper validation of VoIP networks will enable them to ensure a place as the frontrunner in the race to become the VoIP provider of choice, not only for consumers, but for enterprises as well.

Denise Culver, Research Analyst, Heavy Reading IP Services Insider

The report, Enterprise VoIP Over Cable: QoS Holds the Key to Success, is available as part of an annual subscription (6 bimonthly issues) to Heavy Reading IP Services Insider, priced at $1,295. Individual reports are available for $900. For more information, or to subscribe, please visit: www.lightreading.com/entvoip.