SIP Trunks to Reduce the Cost of Cellular

10 Aug 2015

Verizon unveils a new service that passively eliminates long distance charges on about 20 percent of outbound calls.

Verizon Enterprise Solutions today announced Wireless Connected VoIP. The new service eliminates per-minute usage charges on calls placed over the carrier's US IP trunks to any of its wireless subscribers. While free cellular calls between subscribers on the same carrier are common, Wireless Connected VoIP extends the "on-net" benefit to enterprise wired connections.

Existing customers of Verizon SIP trunks or integrated access services will automatically benefit from the drop in long distance charges. The discount applies to all Verizon wireless phones -- not enterprise devices or a predefined group. Therefore, savings will be realized on a broad range of "internal" calls within an enterprise as well as with external calls to colleagues, partners, and customers. Wireless Connected VoIP is automatically available to customers using Verizon's VIPER (VoIP IP Enterprise Routing) offering on the Verizon Rapid Delivery platform. The benefit also extends to the company's IP conferencing platform as well.

It is common to treat the costs of cellular and landline services separately. Wireless Connected VoIP enables organizations to realize wired savings to wireless devices -- leveraging its combined services. Competitors will offer similar programs, but the impact will be difficult to match. Verizon reports 70,000 active VoIP sites with 6 million phone numbers. Earlier this year, Verizon reported over 100 million retail wireless subscribers.

The potential savings will vary both regionally and by enterprise call demographics. Verizon customers could potentially benefit from free long-distance calls on 20 percent of outgoing wire-line calls. Market share varies by region, but Verizon frequently commands the largest share of wireless services.

The savings will vary by customer. One million outbound long distance minutes a month could realize a savings of about 11 percent or $3k a month assuming about 20 percent of the minutes were to Verizon wireless subscribers. That's with no changes, no additional outlay, and no new commitments. Wireline customers that actually switch employees or field staff to Verizon Wireless could see a higher percentage of calls become on-net. The actual savings can be monitored via an on-net usage report within Verizon's portal.

On launch, Verizon is limiting the on-net definition to calls that originate on wired services. Tom Dalrymple, Director of Product Development and Management, indicated that the initial service provides a foundation for additional integration and programs to follow.

Verizon's UCaaS customers are not affected, but that's because they effectively already have it -- at least on domestic calls. Verizon's Virtual Communications Express service (based on technology from BroadSoft) includes free domestic long distance. Customers using Verizon's UCCaaS (Cisco) or Microsoft's Skype for Business service will receive the benefits of Wireless Connected VoIP assuming use of Verizon's trunking services.