Net2Phone preps wireless play
It's still a ways off, but Net2Phone said it has plans to offer a "wireless overlay" platform that will enable its cable VoIP partners to offer an array of mobile services.
Targeting a Q4 launch, Net2Phone is already in negotiations with a number of domestic wireless service providers, said Michael Pastor, president of Net2Phone Cable Telephony LLC.
In addition to crafting deals directly with carriers, Net2Phone is also looking into partnerships with Mobile Virtual Network Enablers (MVNEs), which handle elements such as wireless interfaces, handset fulfillment, branded customer care and number portability. Net2Phone did not disclose who might get its business, but some of the primary MVNEs in the market include Qualution Systems, EUR Systems, and Visage Mobile, the enabler for the recently launched Mobile ESPN service.
"From a subscriber standpoint, [the service] will be seamless and transparent," Pastor explained.
Net2Phone (soon to become part of IDT Corp.) has VoIP partnerships with several small- and mid-sized cable operators, including Atlantic Broadband, Liberty Cablevision of Puerto Rico, Bresnan Communications, Millennium Digital Media, Northland Communications and CMA Communications.
How long the wireless window will remain open for Net2Phone is questionable, however. The joint venture between Sprint Nextel, Comcast Corp., Time Warner Cable, Advance/Newhouse and Cox Communications is seeking more MSO members.