Virtual Office Featured Article
October 27, 2009Phone.com Intros Hosted HD Voice Phone Network
By Amy Tierney, TMCnet Web Editor
In an effort to broaden its offerings, a Livingston, N.J.-based provider of VoIP phone services, today announced the launch of its new hosted High Definition Business Phone service.
The new service is an extension of Phone.com’s successful Virtual Office service. With the Business Phone service, home offices and other small businesses users can enjoy professional welcome greetings, phone menus, extension dialing, call routing, voicemail and fax, among other features with HD quality.
The service lets businesses buy an IP business phone to complement their Phone.com (News - Alert) Virtual Office account and offer a top-notch voice quality phone service with an “all included” feature set that is unavailable from traditional phone companies, Phone.com officials said.
Ari Rabban (News - Alert), CEO of Phone.com, said Phone.com’s entrance in HD supports growing interest in the technology. As more and more companies take advantage of the technology, HD phone prices will drop and HD will become standard, he said.
“This is an inexpensive phone service that gives customers excellent sound quality,” Rabban told TMCnet in an interview. “We are taking a stand here with [something] the whole industry will move forward with.”
Phone.com customers who buy an HD-enabled phone can now communicate with other customers who have HD phones. Calls to users of other networks will require adoption of HD voice capability. Both parties will need to have HD phones to receive the higher voice quality.
Rabban said the HD technology in its Business Phone service offers “CD-like” voice quality.
“If you take an HD phone and make a call, you will say, ‘Wow,” Rabban said.
Company officials tested numerous HD phones and selected Polycom HD business phones its “phone of choice” for its Business Phone service. Phone.com will offer Polycom (News - Alert) SoundStation IP conference phones and Polycom SoundPoint IP desktop phones as part of its HD service. The Polycom phones feature Polycom HD Voice, a service that offers more than twice the clarity of ordinary phones.
“We’re delighted that an innovative company like Phone.com now supports Polycom HD Voice across its network,” Jeffrey Rodman (News - Alert), co-founder of Polycom and chief technology officer of the firm’s voice division, in a statement. “The market is moving to HD Voice as part of the natural evolution of the industry, and the benefits are obvious, especially once you hear the lifelike sound quality.”
Other industry experts agreed.
"Being an early adopter, Phone.com is using HD voice as a differentiator, and showing the market that even small businesses can benefit from this great technology,” Jon Arnold (News - Alert), principal of analyst consultancy J Arnold & Associates, said in a statement, “For Polycom, Phone.com offers a unique entree to a large market that has significant upside once they discover how good HD really is."
Phone.com plans to expand its HD phone selection over the next few months, Rabban said.
In related news, Phone.com recently launched a series of features for its virtual office and home phone services that let customers take advantage of call recording, advanced call screening and call tagging for no additional charge.
Amy Tierney is a Web editor for TMCnet, covering unified communications, telepresence, IP communications industry trends and mobile technologies. To read more of Amy's articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Amy Tierney
Phone.com Transforms Small Businesses Using VoIP and the Cloud : TMC podcast with Joel Maloff, vice president of Channel Development at Phone.com, about how to transform SMBs using VoIP and the cloud.
Changing the User Experience with HD Voice: There's lots of buzz about high definition voice, but what does it all really mean? TMCnet spoke with Alon Cohen, chief technology officer for Phone.com, a hosted IP-PBX and virtual office provider, about HD Voice and how and why it enhances the user experience. The podcast also features two examples showcasing the audio quality difference when using HD voice.
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