Silicon Valley enterprise video conferencing firm Fuze has announced a multi-year partnership with BT that will allow its customers to make audio calls over its software platform without an internet connection.
Specifically, the partnership will enable Fuze's business customers, who pay $20 per user per month, to make audio calls over BT's global telecoms infrastructure when a VoIP [Voice over Internet Protocol] connection isn't available.
Fuze CEO David Obrand told Techworld: "The BT partnership provides customers with access to BT's global network of PSTN [Public Switched Data Networks]. So wherever you are in the world, if for whatever reason you cannot get access to VoIP, you can connect to the Fuze service directly through a very high quality PSTN network which is serviced by BT."
The quality of PSDN networks varies from provider to provider, according to Obrand, who said there are many low quality inexpensive connections available but they suffer from latency, audio chop and delays.
"We did a global study and we did a lot of due diligence and we chose BT because not only do they have the best global reach but they also have the highest quality. We're using them in every country that you would care about in the world. The only countries we're currently not using them in currently are Pakistan and China as we don't have a lot of customers in Pakistan and China's just a very interesting market due to the regulations in place."
Fuze customers have been able to connect over BT's infrastructure since 15 April. Users making calls over BT's PSTN network will incur additional costs on top of their monthly license fee.
The financial details of the deal with BT were not disclosed.
Jim Lundy, CEO and lead analyst at Aragon Research said Fuze understands that voice quality and reliability is the cornerstone of any virtual meeting experience, adding that the BT partnership is a very smart move that will "delight" users and resonate with enterprise IT leaders.
The Fuze platform is available on smart phones, tablets and personal computers. It is used by "tens of thousands of businesses" worldwide, including voucher website Groupon and advertising agency Ogilvy.
The company currently has around 150 employees but Obrand said this will increase when the company opens a London office in the third quarter of this year.
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