Aiming to jump-start a market that has yet to take off, Jetstream
Communications on Monday introduced a new package of products and services
intended to encourage carriers to deliver voice-over-broadband services more quickly.
The package, Jetstream Formation, includes improved gear, new software, and
marketing and sales plans. Jetstream is a privately held maker of
communications equipment designed to deliver multiple voice phone calls over a single high-speed, or "broadband," Internet connection.
The Formation strategy includes new capabilities for Jetstream's primary
voice gateway product, which links circuit-switched and Internet networks.
Formation also includes upgraded network-management software and a new
integrated access device--the equipment installed at the customer's home or
In addition, Jetstream has developed several new marketing, sales and
pricing programs that are designed to eliminate the guesswork of offering
the service commercially for carriers.
Many communications carriers, including digital subscriber line (DSL) providers, continue merely to test voice-over-broadband gear, and
Jetstream hopes to prod them to offer the service commercially.
"Coming up with complete programs for sales and marketing is a critical part
of a vendor's success because they're dependent on the service providers,"
said Beth Gage, vice president of consulting at TeleChoice, a communications
Overall, equipment providers must make deploying their gear as easy as
possible, an accomplishment that Jetstream hopes to foster, Gage said.
Jetstream's primary competitors, including TollBridge Technologies, CopperCom, General Bandwidth and Accelerated Networks, also are
eager for the market to begin growing.
Voice-over-broadband service is aimed primarily at home offices and small and midsized businesses. A single high-speed Net connection can
be split, allowing customers to use part of the bandwidth for high-speed Net
access and the remainder for several phone lines. The simplicity and lower
cost is attractive to business customers.
However, many carriers have been slow to deploy voice-over-broadband
The Baby Bell local-phone companies are unlikely to rush to offer the
technology because it cuts into their core business. And smaller
competitors, such as Rhythms NetConnections, NorthPoint Communications and
Covad Communications, have been busy building out their networks, seeking
funding, signing up reseller and content partners, and focusing on a variety of other
priorities. Although voice-over-broadband could provide new revenue for
these providers, they have yet to broadly offer it.
According to TeleChoice, only 40,000 customers will use a voice-over-DSL
service this year, but the market is projected to grow to 2 million lines by