Digicel Cloud Telephony to Make Switched Voice Extinct

Digicel’s Cloud Backup Service, which was launched on Wednesday May 11th 2011AD as chronicled in my article Digicel’s Cloud Backup Services – A deep Analysis has now some four (4) months later given birth to one of the Services I had predicted: VoIP Telephony. Thought late, Digicel Business, Digicel’s Corporate arm launch of the Service during a Media Tour of their US$600 million Tier III Data Center in Caymanas, St. Catherine on Friday September 9th 2011AD heralds the coming death of switched Voice Services aka Residential and Commercial PBX (Private Branch Exchange) Landline.

Quite simply put, this is Skype meets the Corporate World. Instead of a clunky web interface you get handsets that connect to Digicel’s Cloud-based VoIP Platform and enables SME (Small and Medium Enterprises) to have hosted PBX (Private Branch Exchange) for pennies. Much akin to Avaya which also offers VoIP Solutions to SME’s in partnership with LIME or like Skype, which is now allowing calls to originate and terminate from landlines as well as via FaceBook all since July 2011AD.

Clearly the competition is aware that Cloud Telephony is a hot commodity and Digicel Business is just cashing in. But Digicel Business have the pedigree with their Tier III Data Center. So the race between Digicel and LIME powered by Avaya is evenly matched and heating up.

Finally!!! Some excitement in the Telecoms World worth writing about!

This as it is IP (Internet Protocol) based switching which bills either on a Flat-Rate basis or is Metered usage based on Megabytes  as opposed to Metered Switched Voice Platform based Networks that bill based on Minutes. A typical VoIP call can be initiated using only a 64Kbps Dialup line as revealed by work done by Networking Gear maker Cisco, thus making this service a real deal for SME’s at US$30 to US$36 per month!

For the record, LIME HomeFone Xpress Platform is a VoIP implementation using GSM (Global System Mobile) 2G EDGE (Enhanced Data Rates for GSM Evolution) services. This Homefone gives LIME’s Landline Service more longevity as they branch into Cloud Telephony – an area which Digicel is just now entering to compete some three (3) months later.

Already a Jamaica Observer article indicates that sixteen (16) SME’s have signed on to the service….and undoubtedly more are expected as the price is right to quote Business Development Manager ICT solutions at Digicel Business Tom O’Neill: “Cloud telephony is essentially a hosted-PBX service which allows Jamaican businesses and public sector organizations to refresh their communications infrastructure without having to spend money up front. You get a brand new PBX system delivered over Digicel’s network on a simple pay-to-use model on a monthly basis like a utility”.

Thus, the lucky sixteen (16) guinea pigs ….I mean SME’s…. that have Broadband access at their headquarters, which is either a service from LIME ADSL or FLOW Cable Broadband can have their own PBX for a fraction of the cost of a traditional Nortel Meridian PXB setup and sans all the messy wiring. In a world where Data Service Platforms are set to predominate Voice Service Platforms, Digicel is now a latecomer to a VoIP race that is already heralding the death of Landline, both Business and Residential.

Looking out for more announcements from Digicel as it relates to the launch of other Cloud Based Services! I smell IPTV (Internet Protocol Television)  Services such as Netflix and Google TV as chronicled in Google Acquires Motorola Mobility – Weapon of Choice in the IP and Set Top Box Wars this Fourth Quarter of 2011AD around the corner with London Olympics on July 27th 2012AD being the main Catalysts. With BlackBerry Server Platform and Email certain to be announced later this year, SME’s and Corporate Business’ wanting these Services most likely will get them as Christmas Presents under Digicel Business’ Cloud-Based Services Tree.

My Personal Christmas wish: Cloud Computing or Virtual Server Platform Support for NC (Network Computing) devices such as the Google ChromeBook, the Apple of my eye this Christmas 2011AD as well as Cloud-Based Gaming Platforms, sure as rain to come by 2012AD as per my article Console Gaming’s Downfall – Future is up in the Clouds.

Stay tuned to this blog as I keep track of any future announcements relating to the launch of Digicel’s Cloud based Services.

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Lindsworth is a Radio Frequency and Generator Maintenance Technician who has a knack for writing about his work, which is in the Telecoms Engineering Field. An inspired writer on themes as diverse as Autonomous Ants simulations, Power from Lightning and the current Tablet Wars.

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