Intra-business calls just got a little clearer for Optimum Lightpath’s business customers in the New York metro area. The company has added a new HD-voice option to its recently launched Hosted Voice service, which has been up and running since April.

"The idea with Hosted Voice is to be future proof," said John Macario, senior vice president of product strategy and management. "As we make changes to the server and cloud, additional features and services ought to be available to users."

"With HD voice, we are layering the first of what will be many new features on top of Hosted Voice," he added.

Yet, Hosted Voice is being positioned not so much in terms of features and functions, but in respect to its value proposition, Macario said. A single monthly recurring charge includes dedicated Internet access, all of the CPE required, QoS and class of service, a bucket of minutes, ongoing tech support, maintenance for all CPE, and next-business-day replacement for phones.

A company needing 125 hosted seats will get 20 Mbps Internet service, as well as 50,000 voice minutes for about $4,450 per month, which boils down to about $35 per user per month. There would be a small non-recurring charge to get the HD-compatible Cisco phones, but no increase in the monthly fee for the HD service.

Within the family

When delivering fiber, the company supplies a virtual LAN for voice and another for data, and can control the class of service the entire way. "It allows you to run (G.722) codec for HD (voice) and experience no packet loss or jitter, (but) you need an HD endpoint to do it," Macario said.

Therefore, the service is intra-company-only for the moment because of the nature of the beast. If a non-HD voice line is called, the service reverts to standard telephony.

The HD-voice service gives more bang for the bandwidth buck, so to speak. "You get much better quality using the same amount of bandwidth," said Glenn Calafati, director of product development. There will be an evolution to wideband codecs that are more rate-adaptive. "In the future, there will be a dynamically provided bandwidth stream, which has great cost benefits to the service provider and end user."

New president

The Hosted Voice service package seems to go along with what Dave Pistacchio, Optimum Lightpath’s new president, told Communications Technology during a video interview a few years back, when he was general manager and executive vice president. MSOs, he said, are good at pricing services in a way that makes them "understandable to customers and easy to buy."

"There is a concern that as (services) become more robust and complex, we have to balance that against what business users really want, which is simplicity, simplicity, simplicity," Pistacchio said. (For more, click here for CT‘s video archives and look for "Taking Care of Business: David Pistacchio, Cablevision."

Optimum Lightpath’s parent company, Cablevision Systems, announced Pistacchio’s promotion last week. He has served in the division since 2005. During his tenure, the company transitioned to metro Ethernet and now has a network of more than 3,700 route miles and is connected to 3,300 buildings.

For more technical background on HD voice, click here.

– Monta Monaco Hernon

Read more news and analysis on Communications Technology‘s Web site at www.cable360.net/ct/news/.

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