Verizon Business tops Infonetics’ VoIP poll
In Verizon's VoIP shadow, a strong 'middle group' thrives, analysts said
Verizon Business (NYSE: VZ) was the surprise top finisher in Infonetics Research's first North America Business VoIP Services Leadership Matrix in both IP Centrex (hosted IP services) and IP connectivity, Infonetics said today.
"They aren't the biggest, and they don't have the most number of lines in either category," said Infonetics analyst Diane Myers. But Verizon Business does have financial stability, the second most important category, along with support and reliability, she said. "Objectively speaking, they do have a good installed base."
Competitive players did well in what is a highly competitive market – and getting more so, Myers noted. Second to Verizon in IP Centrex was New Global Telecom, which had the highest number of North American subscribers, followed by 8 X 8. Cbeyond (NASDAQ: CBEY) and Paetec (NASDAQ: PAET) closely followed Verizon Business in IP connectivity.
"When you look below Verizon, there is a really strong middle group," Myers said. There are a lot of service providers in this space – hitting the top 10 means you are doing something right. There are a lot of companies doing interesting things in terms of market strategy and service development. They are getting subscribers, they are getting more focus. They may never have as many as Verizon, which is a nationwide company, but many of them have a very strong business model and a strong focus on their market, whether it's a vertical, or geographic or a distribution channel."
Infonetics' leadership matrix ranks the top 10 IP Centrex service providers and top nine IP connectivity providers in North America based on criteria including the number of IP Centrex subscribers and/or installed base of IP connectivity lines/trunks, financial stability, market strategy, service capabilities, and support options. Other companies ranked in the matrix were: Alteva Networks, AT&T, BroadView Networks, BroadVOX, Comcast, Covad, Global Crossing, iCore Networks, Level 3 Communications, Time Warner Telecom and XO Communications.
Comcast is moving up fast on hosted VoIP services, which Infonetics included in the IP Centrex category. "It will be interesting to see where they finish next year," Myers said. Covad was another surprise, since the company pulled back on hosted VoIP services last year to focus on its wholesale and data strategies. "They have been able to hold on to their base," Myers said.
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