Verizon: Bloomberg Report Wrong About VoIP Transition
A spokesman for Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) today told xchange that the Bloomberg News report, which was picked up by the Los Angeles Times, saying that the telco plans to retire its copper plant and move completely to VoIP within seven years, is off base.
“We kind of wish this story would just go away,” said Jim Smith, director of media relations for Verizon Telecom, of the piece quoting Verizon CMO John Stratton, with whom a Bloomberg reporter spoke at last week’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Smith added that a public relations person from the wireless side of Verizon was present at the interview.
When asked whether Verizon in fact expects to go all-VoIP within seven years, as stated in the Bloomberg piece, Smith said while the company is introducing VoIP as part of its FiOS bundle, that doesn’t mean it’s going exclusively VoIP. “Why would anybody move to VoIP in seven years?” he added.
Traditional Phone Network Endures
Posted by Eric Rabe in Voice-VoIP on January 13, 2009, 04:02 PM EST
There’s been a bit of online buzz about remarks attributed to Verizon Chief Marking Officer John Stratton in a Bloomberg interview (carried in the LA Times) at last week’s Consumer Electronics Show. The story says that Verizon plans to “do away with traditional phone lines within seven years as it moves to carry all calls over the Internet.”
Here’s the background.
First, neither John nor anyone else here thinks that the traditional, circuit-switched phone network will be a thing of the past in seven years. What’s often called the public switched telephone network (PSTN) is the world’s most reliable, high quality, landline voice communications system. The Verizon traditional phone system will serve customers for a long time to come.
John’s point was, and there’s not a lot of new news here, that we see that voice can and is becoming an application called VoIP on broadband networks.
VoIP is a logical platform for any company wanting to break into the voice services business, and hundreds of companies have seized on this technology to do so, including every major cable TV company. However, the quality of VoIP voice calls and the reliability of VoIP networks are in no way superior to the quality and reliability provided by the Verizon PSTN network. In short, there is no logical reason for a company like Verizon, with a terrific voice network already in place, to dismantle that network and replace it with VoIP.
At the same time, Verizon is the foremost provider of broadband networks in the USA and a leader in providing broadband around the world. We operate much of the Internet backbone, besides providing wired broadband to 8.5 million American consumers and businesses in the Northeast, and parts of the Northwest, South and Western U.S.
It is clear to us that some parts of the market are moving to VoIP. So the right move for Verizon and our customers is to support transition to VoIP as we have already for many business customers and as we will do as consumer customers evolve to VoIP. You’ll see us offer new VoIP products for FiOS in the future, and over time we’ll do the same for customers served by other wireline and wireless technologies. This is a logical evolution that we understand and will support.
But don’t expect the landline circuit-switched network to magically blink out in seven years. For many customers, the traditional phone network may be the best solution for years to come.
Alan Spicer Telecom / Alan Spicer Marine Telecom
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