CableLabs Completes First Round of PacketCable Testing
CableLabs reported that it has successfully completed the first round of PacketCable interoperability testing based on the interim specs it released last year. The testing event, which occurred in early March, primarily focused on assessing the test environment and executing initial compliance test plans. It included a group of 17 vendors that tested 5 different test platforms to assess protocol, voice quality and the test plans. The test plans proved to be an effective measure of specification compliance, and the group is now planning to expand the test cycle to include an array of addition vendor’s equipment, and protocols implemented to evaluate basic voice calls, multi-codec calls, feature demonstrations, device provisioning and billing output.
The interim PacketCable specs provide the fundamental requirements for call signaling, QoS, media stream, client provisioning, billing event message collection, PSTN interconnection, and security interfaces necessary to implement a PacketCable solution for residential voice services. The specs define the implementation of residential services as a set of CPE that can be controlled by a single call management server or cluster of servers on a network (between tens of thousands and hundreds of thousands of subscribers). CableLabs also plans to further develop the specs to include the protocol technology necessary to provide interoperability across service provider boundaries, and to define additional feature capabilities, such as PBX extension and multimedia conferencing.
CableLabs will host another testing event next month. PacketCable is a CableLabs led initiative aimed at developing interoperable interface specifications for delivering real-time multimedia services over two-way cable plant. The initiative is focused on using cable modem infrastructure running IP technology to provide an array of multimedia services including IP telephony, multimedia conferencing, telecommuter services, as well as other integrated multimedia applications.
PacketCable 1.0 Specs
Road Runner & Cahoots to Integrate Lipstream’s Technology
Lipstream Networks reported that both Road Runner, a provider of cable broadband services, and Cahoots, a provider of web based communications services, are planning to integrate its web based VoIP technologies into their respective offerings. Road Runner will integrate the products into the community section of its web site to enable its 730,000 users to communicate from PC to PC in real time. Cahoots will integrate the technology into its Web Wide Communication Network to offer a service that will enable visitors at participating web sites to communicate via real time voice and text chat sessions.
Lipstream’s technology is based on Qualcomm’s PureVoice and SmartRate technologies. The PureVoice codec compresses voice signals into a digital signal, and the SmartRate technology provides compression rates. The company implements the technology on back end servers collocated at nodes throughout Qwest’s OC-48 network infrastructure to provide the service. The service utilizes a chat room format to enable users with at least a 28.8 Internet connection, a Windows system, and a microphone and speakers to download a browser based popup VoIP client to join a conference in progress or create a private chat room. In addition, it features technologies that enable users to send private voice messages to only one conference participant in a group, or mute select participants. Qwest provides 24×7 network monitoring and support for the offering.
Cabo Mining & C&G Telecom to Offer Stonehenge’s Services
Stonehenge Telecom reported that Cabo Mining Digital Network Services, a Florida telco, and its Peruvian joint venture partner, Consultoria & Gestion de Telecomunicaciones S.A. (C&G) are planning to offer services via its network. Cabo and C&G intend to interconnect C&G’s network with Stonehenge’s network to offer services such as voice/data and Internet/intranet access. In addition, C&G expects to leverage the agreement to offer interconnect services to other Latin American based providers.
Stonehenge’s IP network currently has operations throughout Asia, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK and the U.S. It recently began deploying Cisco’s AS5300 voice gateways to expand the reach and capacity of its IP network, OnmiPortal, and to offer integrated voice, video and data services. Initially, Stonehenge will purchase more than 250 of the gateways, which will be deployed in markets throughout Asia, Europe, Latin America and the U.S.
3Jet to Terminate Phonecalls VoIP Traffic in China
Phonecalls.com, a Tianrong Internet Products and Services subsidiary, said that it has reached an agreement with 3Jet Network E&S Communications, in which 3Jet will terminate its VoIP traffic in select Chinese markets including Shanghai, Fuzhou, Beijing and Zhuhai.
Phonecalls is in the process of developing a VoIP service that will consist of offering prepaid Internet telephony phone cards from a network of web sites that will enable users to place calls via its infrastructure and partnership termination agreements, as soon as the cards are registered and paid for at its web site. In addition, the provider recently deployed a gateway system at its hub in New York, which will enable it to route communications to anywhere in the world, and via its partnership agreements and facilities, provide call termination from China, Taiwan, Thailand, the Philippines and Hong Kong.
3Jet Network E & S
Micro Center to Distribute Net2Phone’s VoIP Products
Micro Center, a nationwide chain of computer stores, reported that it will distribute Net2Phone’s line of YAP Internet telephony products. The YAP line of products, which is currently under development, is expected to consist of several products (YAP Multimax, YAP Port, YAP Jack & YAP Phone) that will enable users to connect existing telecommunications equipment to the Net2Phone’s VoIP network to place calls. The retail chain is currently marketing a YAP headset bundled with a phone card that is charged with $10 of calling minutes. The company will distribute the entire line as soon as the products are released commercially.
The YAP Multimax will enable corporate users up to connect up to 6 devices to the network, each capable of making and receiving calls while maintaining a persistent Internet connection. The YAP Port, which can be plugged into a USB or serial port, will provide connectivity between the PC or a phone and the network. The YAP Jack will allow users to connect a traditional phone to the network via an ISP. Last, the YAP Phone will enable users to interface with a PC’s USB port and utilize Net2Phone’s VoIP client to place and receive calls.
All of the YAP devices will be bundled with calling minutes, and Net2Phone’s client technology. The initial product offerings are expected to be available this summer. Pricing will range from $450 to $2500.
Ola Internet to Deploy Lucent’s Equipment to Build Network
Ola Internet, a Spanish based provider, reported that it is planning to deploy Lucent’s technology to build a national IP network to offer voice and data services, including multimedia services, throughout Spain. The provider has awarded Lucent a US$26 million contract, and intends to invest an estimated US$90 million in the network. Ola plans to offer flat rate IP telephony services bundled with high speed Internet access services to small and medium sized corporations.
Lucent will develop the network based on its CBX 500 and B- STDX-9000 WAN switches, NavisCore and NavisAccess network management systems, IP Navigator MPLS to route network traffic to the WAN switches, the MultiVoice for the MAX 6000 TNT switch which supports a variety of services, and APX VoIP gateway switches, which range from 24 up to 2,688 ports.
The network, which will be comprised of at least 51 POPs deployed throughout all of Spain’s provinces, is expected to be operational this fall.
AOL, Net2Phone Invest In Webley’s Unified Messaging
Webley Systems, a provider of unified communications and messaging services, reported that it has secured equity investments from both AOL and Net2Phone. Financial details were not disclosed. Both companies plan to integrate Webley’s unified messaging technologies into their respective offerings.
IDT Deploys ACT Networks Technologies
IDT has announced that it is deploying ACT Networks’ IP voice gateway and packet networking platforms, including the SX-10 VoIP gateway, in its networks. ACT has shipped $950,000 of the products, and IDT has installed over 500 of the platforms in its international network.
The H.323 v2 compliant (G.711, G.723.1, G.729, G.729a and ACELP-CN) SX-10 product has four integrated WAN ports, an Ethernet port and four T1/E1 line interfaces to provide a port capacity of up to 120, or 480 ports per rack (4 gateways). The unit supports voice, fax and modem traffic via multiple circuit switched networks using packet based infrastructures such as frame relay or IP. For network management, the product utilizes SNMP technologies to enable management via any SNMP network application, including ACT’s own View 2000 Element Manager or HP’s OpenView solutions. In addition, the gateway includes optional gatekeeper functionality.
Dialpad Secures $16.75 Million in Funding
Dialpad.com reported that it has secured $16.75 million in an initial round of financing from CMGI @Ventures, Sterling Payot Company and Serome Technology. The company plans to use the financing to expand its management/employee team and marketing activities.
Dialpad.com offers an unlimited, no charge PC to phone VoIP service that enables users to initiate VoIP communications from any PC in the world to any traditional phone in the continental U.S. The service utilizes Dialpad’s own H.323 compliant Java applet based client technology to generate calls, and GTE Internetworking’s Interconnectivity network to provide connectivity throughout the U.S. The company subsidizes the offering by posting graphical advertising on the client interface.