TelExtreme

remember the company; TelExtreme I was telling you about ??

I managed to get hold at its Broadband VoIP Adapter and was doing some testing around it.

the device requires the following:
1. A network with DHCP and NAT features.
which means it can be connected to a hub as well, as long as there is someone else doing the DHCP and NAT.

it seems... Calls to Penang-Mobile, Malaysia suffered echo and delay. Calls to London,U.K was perfectly great.

apart from testing the device, which looks very much like an Internet MODEM, it has a phone port and "line" port, power port and a Cat-45 port for Internet connection. the challenge is to figure out the purpose of line port, because it is very obvious that the "phone" port is for you to connect it to a phone for dialing.

I could manage to guess until talking to one of the reseller.. and the answer is PABX. Use the line port to connect it to a PABX system as line input.

According to the reseller, they are employing MLM strategy to market this product. now why MLM ?
this time i manage to figure the answer. ..
because if they are going to rely on conventional distributorship marketing strategy, the risks is higher for one reason; they haven't setup a local representative office. For someone(a big guy)
to risk buying many quantities of the devices(VoIP adapter) and resell it again it really too much of a commitment when no local support is available, except for web site and contact numbers. In other words, to get refund for malfunction product will be really slow and unpredictable. Therefore, since TelExtreme can't get a big guy to be excited, they figure that might as well get many small guy to be excited; spread of cost.

One reason they prefer not to have a corporate present locally is accordingly the lack of market capitalization at the moment. They would prefer to wait for the membership to reach certain level before coming in for real. This is good for them and not so good for the marketing.Compare to other similiar company such as Nstream International, Ubiphone, 1CellNet ... most of them have plans to be present here locally. NStreami is a J-V between Malaysia, USA and Philliphines company already have a local office in P.J, Selangor.For TelExtreme to settle down without local presence would be much tougher, since all of them are employing MLM as business channel.

Nevertheless, MLM also helps to solve other problems.
1. People won' feel like trying it unless they have a zess for money making, becoz there are so many other competitors out there available for consumer. They only reason I try it is because it provides monthly flat rate to 21 countries. The trick is this - we(consumer) thought that we might be earning if we can make call more that what we are going to pay. while for them(TelExtreme), they are hoping that we have no time to make so much call anyway. So this is a WIN-WIN. But if the quality of Malaysia-STD is not as good as those going into U.K, then they can only promote this as MLM-money-making and VoIP-cost-saving as secondary reason.

2. Doing it the MLM way means they don't need to setup a local point here, because everyone is expected to be a business owner rather than consumer. Thus, should anyone is facing any problems they are expected to contact the HQ directly and not the introducer. This would also save them from unsatisfied members from spreading bad comments to others. In other words, any bad feedback will go to the HQ directly.. eliminating it from the public.

Comments

Brandon Teoh said…
I did receive feedbacks from some people and it seems that people are not satisfied with calls to local STD-Malaysia. Meaning we tested within central region and we find that calls towards central region has the worst quality, compare to calling outstation which is better. of course calling to oversea would be good.

According to feedback, such is not acceptable for corporate usage, and I don't think it can work for fax either.

Such quality is acceptable for IDD and especially to countries like Indonesia, Bangladesh and etc.

The average Malaysian company would spend at least RM300 - RM400 for calls mainly towards the local central region, particularly to mobile phones. Thus, if the local STD quality is good enough, it will be very attractive for people.
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corporate

They probably cannot set up local presence due to lack of

1) License to operate VOIP. To do this legally here you need a class/individual license from the mcmc (pls go to their site and check the license for ASP) without ali baba hard to get and all I saw there is cina. (communications act 1998)

2) to operate MLM in Malaysia also need license (direct selling act 93). This one need ministry approval also. Problem is this is domestic trade and industry approval. Minimum paid up is RM 1.5 million. foreign shareholders in company means they can hold max 30% and must be paid up RM 5 million.

Technical

The echo/delay you heard is probably the latency. Possibly no local outbound gateway but no time to ask.

If you looking for local cheaper calling rates then look at the local boys. The rates are very competitive now.
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