We recently had the opportunity to catch up with provider of cloud-based IP communications services IntelePeer, which has been rapidly expanding its voice network and diversifying from its service provider focus into the enterprise and contact center markets since we last talked, some two years ago (see our earlier coverage here).
Despite that focus shift, however, the big news of the moment was that Ooma, the company that provides free U.S. VoIP calls to owners of its Telo hardware device, has joined IntelePeer's SuperRegistrya huge carrier-grade database of phone numbers and intelligent IP call routing informationthat, together with the company's Voice Peering Network, currently, serves some 416 million endpoints or "destinations" with end-to-end IP connections, according to Charles Studt, IntelePeer's vice president of product management and marketing.
"Ooma is a great example of a service provider that has a lot of IP-enabled endpoints, and by connecting into our peering federation," Studt told Enterprise VoIPplanet, "and leveraging our SuperRegistry, we're able to directly exchange traffic with Ooma, over an IP connection, and save them significant amounts of money off their communications costsand also provide direct connection that minimizes the number of hops, so generally provides a higher quality of media and call and reduces some of the latency there."
In joining the SuperRegistry, Ooma has added all of its IP-based phone numbers and users (of which it claims in excess of 100,000) to the registry database, thus becoming accessible through direct end-to-end IP connections by the 50-odd other service-provider members, and being able to directly access their endpoints (phones) in turn.
"There's a really powerful network effect here," Studt explained, "in that as the network grows, the power in terms of the number of destinations you can reach directly over IP through our infrastructure grows as welland benefits everyone who works with us."
Besides the benefit the cost savings and reduced latency, direct IP-to-IP connections also support media enhancements, such as high definition (HD) voice that are available only on IP networks. Ooma has been featuring its branded version of HD"pure voice"of late, and of course the IntelePeer Voice Peering Network supports the technology.
This means not only that Ooma-to-Ooma calls will be able to take advantage of HD quality, but that calls to or from any other VoIP provider whose endpoints and network support HD will be HD-enhanced as well.
Moreover, "as we move into unified communications, all of the other features beyond voice that depend on an IP connection end to end are now enabled," Studt added. "So we see it as a platform to reduce costs today and to provide a richer unified communications experience as we move forward."
IntelePeer's general manager for the enterprise business unit, Margaret Norton gave VoIPplanet a more detailed account of on what lies ahead for the company: "Late last year and early this year we made an entry into the enterprise market, with a focus on unified communications customers who are utilizing, for example, OCS implementations, or Cisco or other technology providers," she explained.
In addition to blazing a train into the enterprise, IntelePeer has been focused on contact centers looking for SIP trunking and telecommunications services. Norton said.
"Our total network overall is now carrying some 14 billion minutes of VoIP traffic annually," she said, "and growing 40 to 50 percent a year."