In the early stages of VoIP implementation, the central concern for service providers was ensuring that their IP-based networks could reliably deliver acceptable end-to-end call quality. This issue has largely been resolved. As a result, VoIP is now an attractive alternative to conventional analog voice and the PSTN.
As the VoIP market continues to evolve, however, service providers face a new set of challenges. It’s no longer enough to simply meet customers’ expectations regarding call quality. Service providers must also:
- drive down costs
- ensure the scalability necessary to support business growth
- fulfill customer expectations in terms of performance and functionality
- differentiate themselves from the competition
A service provider’s choice of Customer Premises Equipment (CPE) plays a critical role in addressing these multiple challenges. Differences in CPE features and functionality can have a major impact on a wide range of issues that are of significant concern to VoIP customers – including survivability, support for existing analog devices, and PSTN connectivity. CPE characteristics can also have a substantial impact on installation and support costs. The selection of the right CPE is thus a crucial success factor for VoIP service providers.