IP Telephony News Wrap-up for Apr, 17 2000

AT&T WorldNet Markets Net2Phone’s VoIP Technology
AT&T WorldNet reported that it is marketing Net2Phone’s services to its subscribers. In addition to featuring links and information about Net2Phone’s products and services throughout its web site, AT&T WorldNet will also offer up to 1,000 free PC to phone U.S. domestic calling minutes to subscribers that download Net2Phone’s VoIP client and open a calling account. Additional calling minutes and international calls will be billed at existing prices. AT&T also plans to bundle a telephone headset with the promotional offer, which will last through October 10, 2000. All traffic generated from AT&T’s subs will be routed over its Internet backbone to Net2Phone’s VoIP gateway POPs located around the world.

The Net2Phone client provides connectivity from PC to PC, PC to phone and PC to fax. Users can place calls to any telephone or PC in the world via Net2Phone’s network of POPs. The product also ships with voicemail capabilities. The software is currently available for download at no charge.

AT&T has also recently teamed with Liberty Media and British Telecom to initiate a plan to acquire a 39 percent voting stake (32 percent economic) in Net2Phone for approximately $1.4 billion. AT&T intends to gain a 51 percent interest in the consortium by investing $725 million, with Liberty Media and BT putting up the remainder.


AT&T WorldNet



Cyber 2000 Teams With Teleinfo & AT&T HK for Service
Cyber 2000 Limited announced that it has, in cooperation with Teleinfo, a wholly owned subsidiary of China Telecom (HK), signed a service agreement with AT&T Asia/Pacific Group (AT&T) in Hong Kong, in which AT&T will aid in developing its Internet telephony network and services in Europe, greater China and the U.S. According to the terms of the agreement, AT&T will provide project management, global clearing house services and management information services. AT&T will also provide and install VoIP gateways in Cyber 2000’s network. Cyber 2000 and Teleinfo will team to provide marketing and technical programs for the service.

Earlier this year, Global Telephone Communication acquired a 70 percent equity interest in Cyber 2000 Limited.

Global Telephone Communication

MediaRing Launches Web Based VoIP Service
MediaRing.com said that it is has launched a trial web based VoIP service that enables users to place PC to phone calls to and within select Chinese markets. The service is based on Java technologies that enable users to place calls directly from an Internet browser. The provider is in the process of developing a VoIP infrastructure throughout China that will enable it to access the bandwidth needed to offer the service on a commercial basis. The company is also teaming with ITXC, GTE, China Netcom Corporation and CE-Infocom Network Technology to market the service and offer similar web based PC to phone VoIP services in other markets throughout Canada, China and the U.S.

Users can access the service at MediaRing’s web site.

Web Based PC to Phone Services


Pacific Gateway & edge2net Team For Services
Pacific Gateway Exchange (PGE) said that it is planning to utilize edge2net’s Asian based VoIP network to route traffic to select markets in the Asian market. In return, edge2net will use Onyx’s (a PGE subsidiary) network to carry traffic on a global basis.

edge2net is in the process of building a VoIP network that will enable it to offer wholesale VoIP communications in at least 20 Asia Pacific and U.S. markets. In addition, the provider plans to develop unified messaging, calling card based roaming and video/data conferencing services. The network/services are expected to be available sometime over the next year.

PGE’s VoIP network has over 50 POPs in 38 cities and 27 countries. The carrier has international gateways facilities in Auckland, Dallas, Frankfurt, London, Los Angeles, Moscow, New York, Sydney and Tokyo. In addition, it has recently teamed with GRIC Communications and ITXC to expand the network’s footprint.


Pacific Gateway Exchange

Convergys & CSG to Integrate XACCT’s CC&B Technology
XACCT Technologies reported that both Convergys and CSG Systems are planning to integrate its IP based customer care and billing solution, XACCTusage, into their respective technologies.

Convergys plans to combine the technology with its Catalys billing and customer care solution to offer a carrier class usage based billing and customer relationship management service to IP service providers. The integrated solution will be designed to enable users to implement service specific, usage based pricing models for an array of IP based services and applications such as VPN, VoIP and video on demand.

CSG intends to integrate the technology into its outsourced, convergent customer care and billing solution, CSG.net, for IP service providers, cable modem providers, and integrated communications providers. The solution will provide users with an end to end, scalable, real time billing solution that can account and bill for value added services and applications as well as provision advanced IP services.

XACCTusage enables providers to define the exact IP session information that they would like to be captured. It collects usage transaction details, in real-time, from a range of network elements and application servers and performs policy-based filtering, aggregation and merging to produce records similar to CDRs. It can also create usage-based bills via a range of parameters.



CSG Systems

HearMe & AudioTalk Complete Merger
HearMe said that it has completed its merger with privately held AudioTalk Networks. According to the terms of the agreement, HearMe will trade approximately $125 million in stock and cash for AudioTalk’s outstanding shares. The companies plan to further develop and integrate their respective web based IP telephony technologies to develop products that will enable users to offer services such as eCommerce, business conferencing and/or distance learning from a web site.

AudioTalk recently developed an application that can be integrated into a web site to enable visitors to initiate VoIP communications with customer service reps by clicking a call icon. It is based on the vendor’s thin client application, which automatically installs on a PC as an OCX plug in for IE and Netscape browsers when the icon is clicked. The technology supports both SIP and H.323 based call signaling.

HearMe recently introduced a technology that can be integrated into a web site to enable users to initiate VoIP based voice chats. It is based on the vendor’s proprietary live presence technology, a client/server software that works as a pop up addition to Netscape or IE browsers, enabling users to communicate from PC to PC in a group setting or one on one. It handles the compression/decompression and playback of audio streams. The technology also includes capabilities for text chat and whiteboarding. In addition, HearMe has developed an application, VoiceContact, which enables users to invite others to join a VoIP chat by sending an email message. When the other user receives the email, a hyperlink within the email will need to be clicked to automatically join a voice or text chat.

In other news, Bolt, an online community for teens, and FaceTime Communications, a provider of real time web based communications for businesses, are planning to integrate HearMe’s VoIP technologies into their respective offerings.


AudioTalk Networks

FaceTime Communication


Evoke Launches Web Based Voice Chat Service
Evoke reported that it has launched Web Talk, an online chat room based service that enables users to communicate via real time voice and text chat capabilities. The service is based on Evoke’s technologies implemented on back end servers. Users of the service will need to have a Windows 95, 98 or NT system with IE v4 or higher installed.

The company is offering a trial of the service at no charge.

Service Trial


IPCell Introduces Call Agent Technology
IPCell Technologies reported that its OptiCall Call Agent is available for field trials. The product can provide enhanced services over IP and ATM networks and interoperate with legacy networks via MGCP, SIP and SS7 technologies. It enables providers to develop and offer value added services such as customizable voice and data, increase network scalability to handle growing call volumes, and embed carrier grade performance into networks. The solution supports an array of capabilities including local and long distance services, incoming toll free calls, intercom dialing, Direct Inward Dial/Direct Outward Dial and hunting.

The vendor will offer the technology for use in trials through July.


3Com Introduces SIP Based IP Telephony Solution
3Com said that it has introduced an end to end solution for SIP based IP telephony services that consists of a carrier grade media gateway, CommWorks SIP proxy servers and an SIP-enabled Ethernet telephones. It provides for the seamless interconnection of existing infrastructures such as the PSTN, IP networks and the SS7 network. The system will utilize 3Com’s recently introduced Total Control 1000 SIP gateways to connect SIP devices to the PSTN. The gateway can support up to 10 T1/E1 spans connected to the PSTN, and up to 2 10/100 Ethernet ports to connect to an IP network. It utilizes the CommWorks technology to offer universal signaling capabilities for routing multimedia traffic to disparate networks, and to provide a development environment for new services creation. The CommWorks application features APIs that enable users to develop differentiated services offerings such as unified messaging, fax over IP, call waiting, web based call centers and managed multimedia services.


Comuniq & Hughes Software Team for OEM VoIP Product
Comuniq reported that it teamed with Hughes Software Systems (HSS) to develop a H.323/SS7 compliant subsystem, the UltimateIP Media Application Server (SMAS), for OEM developers of VoIP and IP gateway equipment. The solution is based on HSS’ Protoquick H.323 (v2) protocol software to provide VoIP signal processing and protocol signaling to applications built using Comuniq’s quad span E1/T1 PCI mezzanine card (PMC) technology. The software uses the PMCs to offer up to 120 x 64 kbps channel capacity of IP switched multimedia (voice, video and data) in a single PMC slot, which operates in either a PCI or cPCI architecture.

The solution is currently available for Windows NT, Solaris and Linux operating systems. Pricing was not disclosed.


Hughes Software Systems

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