National broadband innovator Internode has designed a Voice over Broadband service to meet the needs of small businesses and home users.
Based on Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology, the NodePhone service, due for launch during May, will enter advanced testing with selected customers in April.
Using any suitable broadband service in conjunction with telephone access hardware supplied by Internode, NodePhone customers can reduce their voice telephone bills substantially. Calls between NodePhone customers will be at no extra cost, with calls to destinations in most capital cities around the country costing a flat rate of 25 cents. Other calls and international rates are also very low.
Internode CEO Simon Hackett said the NodePhone service was squarely aimed at home and small business customers. "This is an approachable, effective new-era phone service," he said. "We're aiming it at residential and small business customers in the initial release. The NodePhone service release will be in multiple phases, each adding more features and choice to the offering. We'll also release high-end business voice services using the same carrier-grade platform later in the year"
NodePhone continues to build Internode's reputation as an Australian broadband innovator. Last month, Internode launched Australia’s first ADSL2 broadband services, running as fast as 12 megabits per second (Mbps). Already available at selected locations in Melbourne, Adelaide and rural SA towns, Internode has a published roadmap for substantial ADSL2 coverage expansion in coming months.
Internode plans to sell NodePhone as a standalone service over any broadband connection of at least 512 kilobits per second. However, service quality will be the highest, overall pricing the most effective, and feature sets the richest, when the service is used with an Internode broadband service. NodePhone normally sends all outgoing calls across the broadband link, but includes features to seamlessly redirect appropriate calls back into the 'traditional' phone line as required - including automatically redirecting all calls this way if your power fails.
Internode will recommend a range of standards-compliant telephone attachment hardware tested with the service and supported by Internode. This will include an Integrated Access Device (IAD) option, eliminating the traditional "rats nest" of boxes, cables and power-packs. The IAD does this by placing two simultaneously available voice lines, an ADSL1/ADSL2/ADSL2+ firewall-equipped router, a 54Mbps wireless access point and a four-port 100-megabit switch in a single compact box. Another supported option will be a single line phone attachment device that is plugged into an existing broadband connection.
Mr. Hackett said the small business benefits of NodePhone went beyond price reductions of the phone service. "NodePhone can provide multiple concurrent phone lines for the price of one. All supported access devices allow the seamless handling of an incoming phone call on your old phone line, plus incoming or outgoing VoIP calls, all at once."
One upcoming feature for NodePhone customers is 'Direct Inward Dial' (DID) numbers, which can be allocated to your NodePhone service and which can be geographically located in most capital cities or in a variety of regional SA locations. For a fixed monthly cost, these numbers can be called by your friends or business customers, with the incoming call being directed to your NodePhone service. This allows business customers to offer local-call presence for their customers in distant locations, and allows residential customers to make it easy and cheap for their friends and relatives to call from far away.
For more information about NodePhone, visit www.internode.on.net/nodephone.