iiNet touts multi-line VoIP for SOHOs and SMBs

New service allows for up to 8 VoIP lines over a single broadband connection

iiNet is seeking to fill the gap in the small office and SMB VoIP market with the introduction of a multi-line VoIP service, announced today.

Multi-line VoIP is delivered over a single broadband service exactly the same way as single line VoIP, but uses a VoIP gateway switch to dedicate multiple numbers to a customer over the broadband connection.

"It is still using a single broadband service into the home or business, but over that you can then run multiple, simultaneous VoIP services," said iiNet's managing director Michael Malone.

Malone said the service was not targeted at larger businesses, but rather SOHOs and small businesses with less than ten staff.

"That accounts for 87 per cent of businesses in Australia and we think it's a pretty poorly serviced market at the moment," Malone said.

"The small businesses tend to be caught between a rock and a hard place - the retail services that aren't quite meeting their needs, or the more expensive corporate grade services that are probably a bit of overkill for their business. So we're seeing an opportunity that no one else is really taking care of," he said.

Multi-line VoIP customers can use their existing handsets, or authenticate softphones directly into the VoIP switch gateway.

iiNet has restricted the service to a maximum of 8 lines, given the fact that it is limited by the single broadband connection.

General manager of iiNet Business Andy McIntyre said the multi-line service will enable small businesses to introduce new applications such as video calling.

"If they have a video phone which can authenticate with a switch then that will be able to do video calling immediately across the network," McIntyre said.

But iiNet is touting cost savings as the key benefit to implementing multi-line VoIP, as its target SOHO and small business sector can divest their rented PSTN lines.

"Where normally they would have multiple PSTN lines coming into the office for their different numbers and faxes etc, these can now be chopped. They can have one broadband service and reduce the forty-odd dollars a month they pay on their PSTN lines," McIntyre said.

iiNet has also slated several new products and services aimed at the SOHO and SMB sector.

"VPN (Virtual Private Network) is on our roadmap. We've also got video calling and video conferencing on our roadmap. And in terms of moving forward on the VoIP solution we're looking to introduce SIP Trunking."

iiNet's Multi-line VoIP service is charged per line at $9.95 for the first and second line, and $7.95 for the third to eighth line. Local and national calls cost 15 cents untimed, mobile calls cost 29 cents per minute. Free calls between all iiNet VoIP services are also offered.

For more information on iiNet's Multi-line VoIP service visit their Web site.

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Andrew Hendry

Computerworld
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