AT&T Led Consortium to Acquire $1.4 Billion in Net2Phone
A consortium consisting of AT&T, Liberty Media and British Telecom reported that it is planning to acquire a 39 percent voting stake in Net2Phone for approximately $1.4 billion. According to the terms of the deal, the consortium will purchase 4 million newly issued Class A shares from Net2Phone and 14.9 million Class A shares from IDT, at $75 per share. The transaction will give the consortium a 39 percent voting stake and a 32 percent economic stake in Net2Phone. The consortium and IDT have also reached an additional agreement, in which the consortium will have the right of first refusal to purchase IDT’s remaining 10 million Class A shares. If the right is exercised, the consortium will then have a 59 percent voting interest and a 48 percent economic interest. In addition, AT&T expects to gain a 51 percent interest in the consortium by investing $725 million, with Liberty Media and BT putting up the remainder.
AT&T and Net2Phone also plan to jointly develop new Internet voice applications for cable telephony and the business communications market.
In related news, Yahoo! has purchased a five percent interest in Net2Phone. According to the terms of the agreement, Yahoo! traded approximately 806,000 shares of its common stock for approximately 2.8 million shares of Net2Phone’s common stock. The total consideration is valued at about $150 million.
VDC to Deploy TransNexus’ Clearinghouse Technology
VDC Communications reported that it planning to use TransNexus’ ClearIP solution to offer a trial VoIP clearinghouse service. The trial will enable member providers to terminate calls on a global basis via the Internet.
The ClearIP product is based on OSP technologies to provide real time call authorization, routing and billing of wholesale voice traffic between VoIP service providers. It also features SSL encryption for security, mutual authentication between communicating parties, non- repudiation of all communications via digital signature technologies, firewall support and flexible and feature information exchange via XML.
The trial is expected to begin this quarter.
Last month, VDC said that it is deploying Cisco’s VoIP technology to build a network to offer wholesale Internet telephony services. It has just secured a deal with Cisco’s subsidiary, Capital Corporation, in which Capital will provide it with $1 million in financing to develop a network that consists of Cisco’s AS5300 and AS5800 VoIP gateways. The firm also intends to form a global alliance of VoIP telephony providers that will offer international voice, facsimile and unified communications applications. It is already negotiating with several undisclosed in-country carrier partners and is seeking partners capable of terminating traffic in their respective countries and/or originating traffic for the service, or both.
VDC is a facilities-based international telco, which provides domestic and international carrier services to other providers. Its network currently has gateway POPs in New York City and Los Angeles.
MetaTel Teams With Level 3 For Service Development
MetaTel said that it is teaming with Level 3 Communications to develop Internet-dialed telephone services. The companies plan to interface Level 3’s softswitch based (3) Voice platform to MetaTel’s servers to provide transparent call set up information directly to Level 3’s softswitch via the Internet. The softswitch will initiate and terminate all call traffic, which will be routed over Level 3’s network. The service will support one on one and multi party conference calling capabilities using a variety of desktop and wireless Internet based products. The companies also plan to further develop the offering to include an array of additional services based on the direct interface.
The service is expected to be available this summer.
Telia To Deploy NeTrue’s QoS Technology
Telia said that it is planning to deploy NeTrue’s QoS technology to measure and manage voice quality parameters on its VoIP networks. Using the product, the provider will be able to identify peaks of congestion across the networks, and develop tiered pricing and service schedules according to levels of QoS.
The technology is a real time VoIP network QoS monitoring software solution that monitors all elements of VoIP including throughput, latency, jitter, packet loss and bandwidth usage. After measuring a transmission’s performance, the product displays an analysis of performance via real time graphical reports. It also offers the tools to manage networks and develop QoS based billing, routing and provisioning. In addition, the application can identify activity levels and QoS across several time periods to provide a historical analysis.
VocalTec Introduces Turnkey VoIP Product Offering
VocalTec announced the introduction of the UniPOP, its end to end VoIP system. The unit can support up to 30/24 digital ports (E1/T1) or 16 analog lines, and it can interconnect and manage up to 10 gateways located throughout a network. It provides for the centralized management and configuration of a network of gateways, providing network alerts, statistics and the generation of CDRs to track all calls that pass through the system. The product can support pre and post paid offerings including phone to phone, PC to phone, web to phone and real time fax to fax, with IVR capabilities. In addition, it offers support for H.323, iNOW and the emerging ETSI TIPHON protocol technologies.
Users will also be able to connect with VocalTec’s network of product users that include clearinghouses, and wholesale providers as well as ITSPs.
The product is currently available. Pricing was not disclosed. VocalTec will provide support and assistance in customizing the system for users.
POPstar to Use MIND’s CC&B Technology
POPstar Communications has announced that it is planning to deploy MIND’s billing and customer care system, iPhonex, to manage its IP messaging services. POPstar is in the process of assembling a consortium of providers to offer services on a global basis. Initially the consortium will offer FoIP services, with plans underway to develop unified messaging capabilities (including support for voice and data services) based on its carrier class Enroute IP messaging software technology. In addition, the company has integrated the technology into the Enroute software to offer its partner providers a solution capable of billing for services offered. It will feature on-line user registration and post and pre paid IP billing services, secure eCommerce and credit card handling, SSL file transport, local user verification, and authentication/call settlements via TransNexus’ OSP clearinghouse service.
The provider will license the integrated solution to partners at no charge in return for a share of revenues generated from long distance IP messaging traffic.
The Windows NT based iPhonEX system is a real-time billing and call management product designed to provide billing and call traffic analysis for V/FoIP services. It provides fraud detection, traffic analysis and call management reports. The product is capable of billing tens of millions of simultaneous calls per month. It features real-time service cut-off when the call limit is reached, calling card management, individualized customer rate tables and flexible fax charge options by page, duration or priority. In addition, MIND has just enhanced the product to support real time billing and management for data, content and eCommerce services.
Avtec to Integrate TI/Blue Wave VoIP Technology
Avtec has announced that it is planning to use a VoIP solution developed by Texas Instruments (TI) and Blue Wave Systems to build a next gen communications dispatch system branded DSPatchNET. The product, which is expected to support from 32 to 2,048 ports, will be designed to integrate IP networking, and telephone and radio capabilities into a single workstation.
The TI/Blue Wave IP telephony solution is based on Blue Wave’s CompactPCI DSP resource board, the ComStruct, and TI’s line of TMS320C54x DSPs, as well as Telogy Networks’ GoldenPort V/FoIP software. It can provide more than 120 channels of simultaneous voice, fax, or data over IP calls, with H.323 and MGCP support, in one CompactPCI slot.
Avtec plans to introduce the solution by the end of the year.
In related news, Performance Technologies (PT) reported that it is teaming with Blue Wave Systems to develop integrated and interoperable VoIP, voice/data processing and wireless technologies for telecom equipment manufacturers and OEMs. The companies initially plan to integrate PT’s CPC380 quad T1/E1 interface products with Blue Wave’s ComStruct CompactPCI DSP resource board.
In other news, Blue Wave has integrated Sun Microsystems’ SPARCengine CP1500 CompactPCI single-board computer with its line of ComStruct high density DSP resource boards running under the Solaris operating environment.
Blue Wave Systems
Franklin Secures $6.2 Million in Financing
Franklin Telecommunications said that it has completed a round of financing with an undisclosed institutional investor group, in which it will receive approximately $6.2 million in return for a portion of the company’s common stocks and warrants. Franklin plans to use the funding to pay down a $2.5 million 10 percent note, finance the expansion of the its IP/VoIP equipment sales, and increase the capacity of its subsidiary’s (FNet) IP network.
Pearson Education/Addison Wesley Longman Publishes VoIP Book
Pearson Education/Addison Wesley Longman said that it has just published a book entitled, IP Telephony: Packet-Based Multimedia Communications Systems. The publication explores the technical aspects of real-time applications over IP including voice and video applications and protocols. It offers technical analyses of VoIP standards including H.323, SIP and MGCP, providing a listing of popular codecs, a backgrounder on compression techniques, information about echo, delay and voice activity detection, etc. In addition, it offers commentary on VoIP network planning, QoS over IP networks and multicasting.
The book is currently available for $34.97 at Amazon.com. It is authored by O. Hersent (CTO of NetCentrex), D. Gurle (VocaTec’s VP business development) and JP Petit (Voice technology expert at France Telecom CNET).
IP Telephony: Packet-Based Multimedia Communications Systems