HD Comm '09 – Verizon signs up for HD champagne, calls for revised VoIP tariffs

Verizon has installed HD voice in at least one of its locations and believes VoIP to be classed as a data service if it expects to make money and for HD interconnects to happen.

Speaking at the HD Communications Summit last week in New York City, Verizon Product Manager Alla Reznik declared there is a future in HD voice and “Verizon agrees with me.”   She revealed that Verizon was indeed drinking its own champagne (do we really have to use the dog food reference for a quality product?) and that its own managers said the technology was “kind of costly, but it is worth it.”

The company’s main frustration is that its installation is an “island” of HD and while peering arrangements are the “biggest” headaches, the service provider community shouldn’t have any problem figuring out how to implement HD voice interconnections in IP.

Reznik, already animated about the potential for HD, called for participants to talk to the FCC as the agency needed treat all VoIP services as data services so the company and industry can propel more calls onto IP, rather than to the PSTN.  Verizon expects that it will be able to make money on additional VoIP features such as unified communications, but the current state-by-state regulatory regime is very awkward.  If the FCC classes VoIP as an IP data service, life would be much easier to get HD interconnects going and Verizon anticipates it could make money from extra features.

In a brief round of questions afterward, Reznik said that Verizon Wireless was looking at HD and found the technology “interesting,” but enterprises would likely be the users pushing for HD voice on mobile as they used it as a part of their overall business operations.

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