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Voxbone, a provider of phone numbers and network access for call centers, voice conferencing service providers, and other telco-related businesses, has introduced VoxTrunk, which creates a large pool of minutes that can be used for inbound dialing to toll-free numbers (where the recipient pays for the call), or long-distance, "geographical" numbers--telephone numbers where the caller pays for the call.
VoxTrunk is the first service for what's called direct inward dialing (DID) that combines toll-free and geographic service, said Dries Plasman, director of marketing and product management at Voxbone. With separate services, one or the other service may reach capacity while the other has capacity to spare. By combining toll-free and geographic into one pool, the capacity can go to whichever service needs it most.
"If you buy two services you have to manage the services separately," Plasman said. "If you push the two capacities together, you can manage it more efficiently."
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Voxbone, based in Brussels, Belgium, provides service in 4,000 cities in 50 countries. While primarily serving Europe, Voxbone also serves multiple cities in the United States and globally. In August, the company named a VP for business development for North America, Hugh Goldstein.
In many countries, mostly in Europe, Voxbone owns the phone numbers that it assigns to customers or is a reseller of numbers wholesaled from local phone companies. Elsewhere, the company rents voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) network capacity from Internet service providers (ISPs).
VoxTrunk charges for its service with a flat monthly fee for each phone number and a flat monthly fee for using Voxbone's global VoIP network, regardless of distance. The charge for a call to a contact center in the United Kingdom from the Netherlands is the same as if the caller were from Australia, Plasman said. In addition, customers offering the toll-free service are also charged a local fee per minute for the toll-free line.
Demand for services like VoxTrunk is driven by demand for hosted contact centers, in which a company hires a third-party vendor to handle the calls for them. A 2010 study by the research firm Frost & Sullivan found that the North American contact center market earned revenue of $453.7 million in 2009, estimated to reach $1.2 billion by 2016.
Demand is also driven by the wider use of unified communications, where businesses combine voice, video, e-mail, instant messaging, and document sharing through one platform.
The research firm MarketsandMarkets forecast in June that the webconferencing market may grow at a compound annual growth rate of 10.4% to $19.97 billion in revenue by 2015.