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IP Telephony news wrap-up for Aug 16 - 2006

Patton Introduces PRI VoIP IAD

Patton Electronics has introduced SmartNode NS4960, a VoIP IAD that delivers 30 to 120 concurrent VoIP calls with QoS, traffic shaping, voice over VPN, security and voice encryption. The platform provides up to 4 T1/E1/PRI ports as well as 2 Gigabit Ethernet ports. The device measures 12Lx7Wx1.75H inches.

NS4960 is interoperable with multiple softswitches and application servers including Alcatel's 5020, Broadsoft's BroadWorks, Centile's IntraSwitch, Cirpack's Multi-Node Series, Nortel's MCS platform, Sylantro's application server, Siemens' Surpass softswitch and hiQ8000 and 9200 Series, Tekelec's T9000, and the SER open source SIP server.

The IAD is scheduled for availability in October.

Patton Electronics
Logitech has introduced a suite of new peripherals targeted at VoIP users. The products include a USB speakerphone, a cordless handset and a cordless headset.

The QuickCalll USB speakerphone employs a 2-mic array, one on each side of the wing shaped phone. To eliminate echo caused by a speaker close to a mic, the speakerphone uses the company's RightSound technology. For privacy, a headset can be plugged into the speakerphone's auxillary port.

Logitech's new cordless Internet Handset is designed to be a wireless phone for VoIP services such as Skype, with the phone operating up to 164 feet/50 meters from the PC, where the USB base station is connected.

The phone features a speakerphone, an illuminated keypad, and a variety of ringtones. When used with Skype, the phone displays contacts, offers access to voicemail, and can be used to view incoming and outgoing call logs.

The vendor's new headset, similar in design to bluetooth, can be used for hands-free and cords-free phone calls on both PCs and mobile phones. The headset comes with a USB wireless receiver that plugs into a PC or laptop and offers an instant connection with the headset. The headset can also be connected directly to a mobile phone with bluetooth.

The headset has a range of approximately 30 feet. It features WindStop, a technology to support calling in windy conditions.

Most of the new products will be available in the U.S. in October and in Europe later in Q4. Each product is going to be offered for $100.



Logitech
Amitelo Afrique SA has introduced a new IP PBX for the African market that supports up to 300 extensions. The system features digital and analog interfaces as well as calling features such as music on hold, call diversion, call waiting, voicemail, and advertising on hold.

The system will be offered with a monthly maintenance contract. The IP PBX is driven by hardware that is 150L x 150W x 50 mm deep. When the system is made available later this year or early next year, it will go for $500.

Amitelo Afrique SA
Yankee Group has released Migration Costs, Vendor Loyalty and Need for Agents Anywhere Define Contact Center VoIP Adoption Plans, a study of the North American contact center market and the trend towards migrating to VoIP systems. As stated in the title of the publication, one of the firm's primary findings is that remote management is a key driver to VoIP adoption.

The research group also finds that 38% of contact center management are research and investigating VoIP. VoIP adoption rate is projected to grow from 17% in 2005 to 47%+ by the end of 2007. The penetration rate of agent seats using VoIP is projected to rise from 16% in 2005 to more than 60% over the next three years. The greatest growth segment is expected from contact centers with 500 or more agent seats.

Yankee Group expects most of the customer wins will come from traditional telcos and telephony vendors rather than systems integrators and VARs.

Yankee Group
Paetec has signed a definite agreement to acquire US LEC, in a deal that will create a provider of telecom services to 45,000 medium and large businesses and institutions in 52 of the top 100 top metro markets in the U.S.

On a pro forma basis, the company will generate nearly $1 billion in revenue, $187 million in adjusted EBITDA, and $109 million in free cash flow (adjusted EBITDA minus capital expenditures). Cost saving synergies of $25 million have been identified in the first year after closing, and $40 million annually beginning in 2008.

Paetec and US LEC will become wholly-owned subsidiaries of a new publicly owned holding company - New Paetec. Taking into account outstanding rights to acquire shares in the
new holding company in the future, US LEC security holders will own approximately one third and Paetec security holders will own approximately two thirds of the new holding company. Upon closing, US LEC shareholders will be entitled to receive one share in the new holding company in exchange for each share of US LEC that they currently own, and Paetec shareholders will be entitled to receive 1.623 shares in exchange for each share of Paetec that they currently own. Based on US LEC's closing stock price on August 11, 2006, the total enterprise value of the new company will be approximately $1.3
billion. Upon completion of the transaction, New Paetec expects to be listed on the NASDAQ Stock Market under the ticker CLEC.

Arunas Chesonis will become Chairman and CEO of the combined company, and Richard Aab will become Vice Chairman.

Paetec
US LEC
Telchemy has introduced DVQattest/RE, a network assessment testing system for residential VoIP and IPTV service providers that measures the quality of bidirectional VoIP test calls or network originated IPTV test streams. The technology delivers MOS scores and R factors, data on transient congestion related IP problems, advanced jitter metrics, route information and network diagnostic data.

IPTV performance information includes audio, video and audio-video MOS scores, video transmission quality metrics, RTP and MPEG transport metrics.

Telchemy
Thailand's National Telecommunications Commission will allow VoIP calling once the nation's mobile phone providers have switched to a 10-digit number system, a move scheduled to happen in September. The organization's commissioner, Sudharma Yoonaidharma said VoIP would have been approved sooner, but the nation's phone system didn't have enough phone number availability to support it.

Private operators that wish to offer VoIP in Thailand should submit details of their planned networks, capacity, bandwidth traffic and service fees to the NTC and be prepared to submit operating reports on a quarterly basis. Applicants should specify a request for a Type 3 license, which would allow an operator to route its traffic through its own gateway, rather than use CAT Telecom's gateway.

TOT plc is expected to be the first provider to apply for a license.

Under a changing telecom numbering landscape, the NTC will assign a set prefix to all VoIP related phone numbers.

The NTC said that the introduction of VoIP services in an unnamed neighboring country had reduced international calling rates by 67% and that it expected rates to be reduced even more in Thailand.

National Telecommunications Commission
Rawabi Telecom and Software is planning to offer VoIP, IP conferencing, and prepaid calling throughout the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar, and Kuwait. Verscom has been appointed as the lead systems integrator.

Verscom has already chosen to deploy Pactolus' SIPware Services and RapidFlex service creation environment to drive the new services.

Rawabi Holding Company
Verscom
Pactolus
VeriSilicon is licensing a wideband CODEC (G.722.2) with its Z.Voice software solution associated with the vendor's ZSP IP cores.

Sonus Networks has introduced Network Border Switch, a new low-end SBC.

VeriSilicon
Sonus Networks