Plunging prices for VoIP-enabled routers and increased consumer awareness of the low-cost calls available from VoIP services has seen strong growth in NodePhone customer numbers since the start of the year.
NodePhone customers made more than half a million telephone calls during August, totalling nearly three million minutes of call time. While the largest single source of NodePhone calls is Internode's home state of SA, about two thirds of calls came from NodePhone customers in other states and territories.
NodePhone provides low-cost calls with the quality of a traditional telephone service. What makes NodePhone unique is that all NodePhone calls travel on Internode's first tier, fully redundant, private national network. This guarantees consistent call quality, unlike the "best effort" services available from Internet-dependent VoIP providers.
NodePhone calls nationally cost just 18 cents untimed while mobile and international call rates are also substantially cheaper than traditional telephony.
NodePhone2 was launched in April this year, 18 months after the successful launch of Internode's outbound-only NodePhone1 service. NodePhone2 allows the customer to both make and receive voice calls from the traditional telephone networks.
Internode's NodePhone product manager Jim Kellett said NodePhone delivered real value for customers. "Each dollar NodePhone cuts from their phone bill can be offset against their broadband service - it can make broadband a zero-sum equation," he said.
"The fact that Internode has recorded its 10,000th NodePhone customer demonstrates the company is now a major provider of VoIP services in Australia. NodePhone is used by all sorts of customers, ranging from people at home, small and medium-sized businesses right through to enterprises. The beauty of NodePhone is it delivers the value of VoIP without sacrificing quality, reliability or features."
"As experience with NodePhone grows, the customer's focus moves from simply cost-cutting to the call management benefits it can deliver, especially for business. NodePhone has all the standard telephone services such as speed dial and call forwarding. However it adds value by providing easy-to-use, web-based control of these functions - and you don't need to be in your office to use them."
"The NodePhone voicemail service is also very popular because it can send your voicemail message as emails - if that's more convenient for you - at no extra charge."
Mr. Kellett said Internode expected the signup rate for NodePhone to accelerate shortly based on a doubling of sales of VoIP-enabled routers. "Sales have gone through the roof," he said.
This is driven by Billion’s recent release of the BiPAC 7401VGPM VoIP-enabled router for just $199. As well as a VoIP phone port and lifeline, the 7401 provides ADSL2+ broadband with Annex M support, built-in WiFi, a firewall, and a four-port switch - it’s the complete solution..
"This is now our most popular model of router - and has helped increase the NodePhone signup rate to over one in five of our new customers - double the level of just three months ago. Certainly the improved price and performance of VoIP-enabled routers augurs well for the future growth of NodePhone."