Unified Communications Featured Article

Sprint Goes 'Mobile First' for UC

March 26, 2012

Sprint’s new “Sprint Complete Collaboration” hosted and fully managed unified communications (UC) bundle for businesses is aimed at mid-sized and large businesses, and offers a “mobile-centric” approach to unified communications.

Sprint Complete Collaboration bundles all the elements needed to deploy unified communications, including: connectivity through SIP trunking, IP and video telephony, integrated messaging, collaboration tools, user endpoints and enhanced mobile integration.

Sprint says that, unlike competitive offers, SIP trunking is included in the core offer. The end-to-end UC platform also is touted as providing a consistent user experience across all collaboration tools, operating systems and endpoints.

Powered by the Cisco Hosted Collaboration Solution platform and most current software licensing, class of service capabilities are included at no additional charge.

It also is the only hosted UC solution to offer both client and network-based mobile integration for a simplified, richer mobile user experience.

Sprint’s network-based mobile integration solution extends PBX features to mobile devices, helping to ensure business continuity and disaster recovery, while reducing costs through LEC elimination and more efficient trunking, Sprint says.

Businesses can choose from three packages, including a “voice-centric” offering that provides call management and basic UC.

The “standard” offering includes the voice-centric features plus enhanced collaboration through IM, presence and desktop sharing. The “premium” version adds mobile presence and support for a wide range of user endpoints.

The Sprint offer provides a mobile-centric approach to unified communications, not just a “hosted voice” offering, some would argue.

Still, business IP telephony, with or without UC features, remains a small business compared to circuit-switched voice, and is projected to produce about $14.6 billion in total revenue in 2012, in the U.S. market, according to the Telecommunications Industry Association.

In 2012, circuit-switched voice will represent about $132 billion in annual revenue for service providers, by way of comparison.

TIA’s report suggests business VoIP penetration will grow steadily over the next five years, though penetration will remain far lower than is seen in the consumer market, according to the Telecommunications Industry Association.

By 2015, business VoIP will account for 9.3 percent of all business lines, a level many supporters might find disappointing. But the business VoIP market is expected to increase to 5.9 million by 2015, about 30 percent growth over the four year period between the start of 2012 and end of 2015.

Edited by Rich Steeves

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