Upstarts Eye Cable's Small Biz Lunch

Over the next five years, all of the major U.S. telcos and cable TV MSOs are expected to lose small business customers to a new crop of hosted service providers that will offer PBX-like voice services at lower reoccurring costs and with minimal site equipment expense, according to a new market research study from Insight Research.

The study indicates that the advent of VoIP PBX business telephone technology and the nearly universal availability of broadband services has enabled a variety of upstart hosted service providers such as 8x8, Aptela, Fonality, and Nextiva to target the small business market. These emerging companies are providing virtual PBX/VoIP services with enhanced features into the lower end of the business segment in ways that are more competitive in terms of functionality, productivity, and pricing than the service bundles being provided by either the telcos or the MSOs.

Insight's study suggests that by 2015 hosted services be nearly a $1.2 billion market and that their adoption by small businesses will accelerate.
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