Two’s Company, in VoIP

A voice-over-IP feast in India should be coming up in the not-too-distant
future, if some recent developments were to provide any clue.

Most recently, the US-based Vegastream and Germany-based Snom Technology
announced their India-specific plans. While Vegastream is a global supplier of
VoIP gateways, Snom has been manufacturing VoIP phones for quite some time now.
And since they have products that complement each other, they have decided to
work through an interoperability alliance in India. Michael Robinson,
vice-president, marketing and business development, Vegastream, who was in India
to meet some key potential clients, mainly ISPs, said the Indian market for VoIP
gateways would be about $6 million. "We are targeting 10—20% of this
pie," he said. The company will be selling its products mainly through
resellers, and has signed up RB Computech to begin with. So far, the company
claims to have done a business worth $150,000 in India.

Snom is targeting large enterprises for VoIP deployments, assuming that the
RoI for such enterprises will be attractive enough to take the plunge. It has
already sold a total of 4,000 units to 25 customers in the country, for a market
that it estimates at 120,000 units in 2002—03. It’s even planning to set up
a manufacturing facility at Bangalore.

The duo stand pitted against companies like Cisco, Avaya, and D-link.
"The high-end VoIP phones are placed in the Rs 40,000—45,000 range, while
the lower end could even be touching Rs 5,000—7,000. Our price tags would be
somewhere in the middle," Karthik Natarajan, managing director, India and
Saarc, Snom Technology, said.

The Snom—Vegastream partnership is an interesting development in the VoIP
space. Neither has the full range to take on companies like Cisco, Avaya or
D-link, all of whom have both phones and gateways to complete the course. The
partnership gives them the necessary arrows in their armory. Natarajan sums it
up: "We make only the phones, while Vegastream makes only the gateways. The
synergy is perfect."

Deepak Kumar

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