VoIP has become huge in the past decade or so, and as such it's a fantastic time to become as Internet Telephony Service Provider, or an ITSP for short. For businesses, VoIP is quickly replacing traditional phone service as the norm. The industry has been doing great as a whole: worldwide, the telecommunications sector revenue grew a huge 8% from 2012 to 2013, a total of $68 billion. In addition, global VoIP subscribers in the residential sector totaled 212 million in 2013, an increase of 8% from 2012. These numbers are promising, so if you're looking to get on board to provide this service, take a look at what you need to do!
Component 1: VoIP Platform
This essential component of becoming VoIP service provider has all the core functions that you'll require, including voicemail and call forwarding. There are tons of choices, and all offer different features and appeal to different-sized businesses, so be sure to select one that matches your needs. If you haven't figured out what your target audience is, now would be a good time to do so. Just a few of your options include open-source and free programs Elastix and FreeSwitch, or a premium solution like Broadsoft.
Component 2: VoIP Carrier
Now that you have software to run your switch, you need the service to send through it! You'll need both origination (inbound) and termination (outbound). Be sure to check our pitfalls to avoid when purchasing VoIP service, so you can ensure adequate coverage and avoid poor customer support. You'll have to provide E911 service, but other options like 411 or caller ID are up to you.
Component 3: End User Software/Equipment
Okay, so you have service to provide and a way to handle it; now your customers need to utilize it! You have plenty of options in this aspect; perhaps you want to provide devices for your clients, or maybe they already have their own. If you don't want to use physical hardware, there are also soft phones available that let you make your calls right from a computer. Smartphone apps are yet another option in the inter-connected world.
Ready To Go?
This obviously isn't an exhaustive list of everything you'll need to begin selling, but it's a great starting checklist. Be sure you understand everything you need to have a successful launch, and you'll be on your way in no time. To learn more about operating a telecom business, click the button below for a free whitepaper.