Incumbent telecoms operator Eircom has signed a €10m deal with Cisco to deploy voice-over internet protocol (VoIP) services across Ireland within the next three years.
It is understood that Eircom will be trialing the service over the next few months with a full launch planned for within the first half of this year. It is believed corporate and government customers will be the first to take advantage of Eircom’s VoIP offerings, followed by business and residential.
Under the terms of the deal, Cisco will join forces with NetCentrex to deploy convergent voice, video and data technology to facilitate the integration of voice calls into the existing public telephony network. NetCentrex will supply the applications software and hardware that will provide the core intelligence for Eircom’s VoIP platform.
In a statement this afternoon, Eircom claimed that the launch of next-generation telephony services delivered over VoIP follows more than four years of sustained investment by in MPLS and broadband IP networks. “Since 2001, Eircom customers have realised the benefits of IP data communications over this network, which was constructed from the start to carry both voice and data packets,” Eircom said.
Cathal Magee, managing director of Ericom Retail, said: “Our initial VoIP service will target corporate and government customers, and will be launched in the first half of 2005. This will allow our corporate customers to take advantage of the flexibility and productivity gains that VoIP delivers.
“The opportunity of exciting new IP services will then be extended to business customers in the form of a hosted VoIP solution. This will be followed by a residential service, which will give Eircom broadband customers the opportunity to take advantage of innovative VoIP services,” Magee said.
By John Kennedy