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IP Telephony news wrap-up for Aug 31 - 2006

Minacom Enables On-Site VoIP Testing Through IVRs or Portable Devices

Minacom has introduced two methods that allow on-site VoIP voice quality testing to be conducted for new consumer installations. Using Zoey, the consumer or an installer can use the newly installed phone line to call an IVR that will initiate a series of tests. The automated phone system uses layman terms to confirm good installs or to help identify and resolve issues caused by cordless phones, installation and wiring mistakes, and wireless network interference. If the problem can't be resolved through the IVR, the consumer or installer can be transferred to customer support, along with data from the test results.

Alternately, the company offers PocketDQ and PowerProbe 30 VoIP Responder, a similar testing tool for installers, that allows voice quality testing for new VoIP line installations to be conducted using a portable, handleheld device such as a Blackberry. A device running PocketDQ software can initiate testing and view results when a PowerProbe 30 device is connected to any 2-wire line jack in a house.

Both Zoey and PocketDQ communicate with the company's web-based DirectQuality R7 server, which uses a connection, in less than one minute, to measure more than 60 service quality measurements such as MOS, call connectivity, network responsiveness, packet loss, VAD, echo, noise, voice path delay, frequency response, DTMF and fax transmission
metrics. All day of install tests are stored on the server, enabling engineers to retrieve results from previous tests. Results can be accessed from any web browser.

DirectQuality R7, which supports testing over multiple infrastructures (DSL, cable, FTTx), can also be used to test IPTV, and Internet/data services. Minacom's testing solution has been deployed by more than 70 service providers worldwide including AT&T, Comcast, France Telecom, Liberty Global, Primus, Orange, Clearwire, VSNL, and BellSouth. The platform has also been used by softswitch developers such as Siemens, Cedar Point, and Ericsson.

Minacom
DirecPath, a joint venture between DirecTV and Hicks Holding, is offering VoSatellite services to multi-dwelling units (MDUs). The pilot program for the service will be offered in Florida by New York-based Vistula Communications Services.

The U.S. has 27 million satellite television subscribers.

DirecTV
Vistula Communications
Dell'Oro Group has released both the IP Telephony Carrier Quarterly Report and the IP Telephony Enterprise Quarterly Report. The carrier report tracks manufacturers' revenue, average selling prices, license/channel shipments for softswitches and media gateways along with breakout data for low, medium and high density gateways.

The enterprise report covers manufacturers' revenue, average selling prices, line (analog, digital, and IP) and unit shipments for IP PBXs, hybrid PBX systems, traditional PBXs, traditional key systems and IP phones.

The firm finds global sales of softswitches and media gateways grew 8% over the quarter, generating $742 million. Softswitch sales for VoB subscriber services were up 66% over the year. Softswitch shipments were significantly strong in Europe. Media gateway shipments were strong North America, but weak in Asia Pacific.

The market share leaders for Q2 were reported as Nortel, Siemens, and Cisco.

Dell'Oro didn't disclose much data regarding the state of the IP PBX market for the quarter. The research company did reveal that the IP phone market grew 42% over the year, generating $500 million. Cisco sold over one million phones in Q2, enabling the vendor to widen its lead in the IP PBX market and climb two positions in the total PBX market. Cisco posted PBX gains in all major geographic markets.

Dell'Oro Group
Plano, Texas-based Genband has acquired BayPackets, bringing together the supplier of the S4 application server and the M5 application server. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

With the acquisition, BayPackets will operate under the Genband name and headquarters of the merged company will be in Plano. Charles Vogt, the current president and CEO of Genband, will remain at the top, while BayPackets' founder Sanjeev Chawla will become the company's CTO.

The BayPackets' M5 application server will be immediately marketed by Genband. The platform supports SIP, MGCP, AIN, INAP, and CAMEL. It includes some IMS elements such as CSCF and HSS. The server supports FMC, as well as other IMS-based applications such as multimedia ringback tones, multi-palyer gaming, video mail, and multimedia conferencing. Other M5 applications include unified communications, prepaid calling, advanced toll free, and global voice VPNs.

Genband
BayPackets
Acme Packet has introduced three new configurations of its session border controller (a border gateway, a session controller, and a signaling firewall) in response to varying IMS architectures and implementations and a growing demand to scale the signaling and media control elements independently. The new decomposed devices, based on the company's Session Director OS, will be available in for all Net-Net 4000 and 9000 Series hardware.

The border gateway provides media control for voice, video and multimedia RTP/RTCP flows via an H.248 interface to a master Acme Packet session controller, or a third-party SIP softswitch or core IMS CSCF signaling element. The gateway supports security features such as a media firewall, access control, network address and port translations, media relay and latching for NAT traversal, VLAN tagging, QoS marking, QoS and flow statistics reporting, bandwidth policing, media replication for lawful intercept, DTMF insertion/extraction, media timers and transcoding.

The session controller provides signaling control and security for voice, video and multimedia SIP message flows. It also uses an H.248 interface to control slave border gateways or third-party media proxies/relays. The session controller is implemented as a dialog stateful SIP B2BUA and is functionally equivalent to Acme Packetís SD configuration in terms of SIP signaling control. Signaling security features include SBC DoS/DDoS protection, admission control based upon session agent load or interface to external policy server, call gapping by session agent or destination number, SIP protocol repair, transport and encryption protocol interworking, number/address and response code translations, load balancing, routing including ENUM, lawful intercept and accounting.

The signaling firewall provides security for core SIP signaling elements such as softswitches, IMS CSCF elements and application servers. It is available in four SIP security level options ranging from stateless firewall with static ACLs and SIP flow rate policing to dialog stateful SIP B2BUA. The firewall is offered with multiple security level options, with the security features of the session controller representing the highest level of security available.

Acme Packet
Arvana, a global VoIP service provider, will has paid more than $6 million to acquire Hallotel GmbH, a service provider that primarily provisions long distance calls between Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Turkey.

8x8, the provider of Packet8 consumer VoIP service, has received a letter from NASDAQ informing the company that if its common stock does not begin trading above $1.00 per share by February 20, 2007, it will be subject to delisting.

Verizon Business has introduced IP toll-free service, an IP IVR for contact centers, and new IP trunking options - all interoperable with Avaya's Communication Manager SES 3.1.

Castelle will release a line of IP fax servers in early 2007.

AT&T has been awarded a contract to build a WiMax network for Springfield, Illinois.

Arvana
8x8
Verizon Business
Castelle
AT&T