NTT Com makes VoIP move

8 Sep 2003

NTT Communications (NTT Com), the long-distance and international arm of NTT, is reported to be in discussions with six other carriers with a view to connecting their IP networks and boosting the use of voice over IP telephony (VoIP) services. According to the Financial Times, NTT Com has approached rivals KDDI, Japan Telecom, Fusion, Plala (an ISP) and sister company NTT-ME about connecting their networks; the link up with the last two is expected to be completed at the end of the year. VoIP services have begun to take off in Japan, thanks to high voice traffic tariffs which have encouraged heavy users to migrate to the cheaper service. Most VoIP providers charge a flat monthly rate and allow users of the same service to call each other for free. NTT had until recently resisted offering IP phone services, seeing them as a threat to its traditional income source. However, the rapid uptake of broadband services in Japan, particularly ADSL, has forced it to offer IP telephony as an incentive to take-up high speed broadband services.