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Huge potential for SMBs to adopt fixed mobile convergence

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The potential for sale of IP-based technology to small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) is substantial, according to recent market research commissioned by Nortel. That’s good news for service providers, thanks to Nortel’s IP Powered Business Solutions, that make it easy for service providers to sell and host pre-tested IP solutions to the growing SMB market.

Fifty percent of SMBs surveyed have voice networks three or more years old, and despite the fact that nearly half characterize themselves as "early adopters" or "on the leading edge of new telecommunications technology", only 40% have actually implemented VoIP or any IP-based mobile convergence solution.
"The research clearly indicates a great opportunity for service providers to target SMBs," says Alf deCardenas, GM: Carrier Multimedia Networks, Nortel. "Our solutions are designed to help them deliver a full range of simple solutions for SMBs that easily allow carriers to offer advanced SIP applications without the cost or complexity often associated with next generation communication services."
Launched in October 2007, Nortel’s IP Powered Business Solutions combine the latest carrier VoIP technology with SIP phones and other devices, all available for delivery on-site or fully-hosted by the service provider. Also integral to these solutions are Nortel’s Global Services for SMBs, which include planning, installation, management and technical support. The solution will be available this quarter to carriers in North America and Europe with other regions following shortly thereafter.
The research, conducted with Ronin, included a web survey of approximately 900 SMB and Enterprise decision makers across the United States, France and the United Kingdom. It was designed to gain insight into SMB perception and use of VoIP, along with SIP applications like click-to-connect and converged mobility for Wi-Fi and cellular calling from dual-mode handsets. The value SMBs place on SIP services and the impact of pricing on service adoption were also assessed.
Among other findings, the research found that:
* SMBs are more likely to go to service providers than resellers for voice hardware and Internet services.
* Converged mobility – the ability to make phone calls over WiFi and cellular networks via a dual-mode phone – is the service SMBs are most likely to consider for implementation followed by web services like click-to-connect and converged desktop applications that allow you to easily control calls from any cellular phone using a laptop application.