1. Vonage & VoicePulse Plan Respective Video Phone Services
Vonage and VoicePulse have each introduced plans to add video phone services as options to their respective consumer VoIP services. VoicePulse did not name a technology partner for the initiative, but did say that it plans to launch the service in the second half of next year. Vonage will use Viseon’s video phones including its business video phone known as the VisiFone and its consumer designed video phone, the VisiFone 2.
In other Vonage news, the company has said that it MediaWorks, a MDU cable MSO serving 40,000 units in the southeast U.S., will market Vonage’s service as a VoCable solution for its cable modem subscribers. Initial services are scheduled to be introduced through MediaWorks later this month.
Vonage has also recently announced that it has expanded its services in the U.S. to include: Omaha, Kansas City, Rock Island (IL), Carter Lake, Cedar Rapids, Des Moines, and Davenport (IA), and North Dakota.
3. Qwest Expands IP Business Services to 100 U.S. Cities
Qwest has expanded its suite of IP-based telecom services to include 100 cities in the U.S. The new coverage area includes several major markets such as Atlanta, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis, Miami, Milwaukee, New Orleans, Orlando, St. Louis, and Tampa. The set of services include a stand-alone IP based converged voice and data solution, a hosted IP PBX service, and IP Centrex.
Qwest launched services initially in August in 26 U.S. metro areas.
Qwest Communications International
5. Sprint to Buy Nextel for $36 Billion
Sprint will acquire Nextel for $36 billion to create a U.S. wireless carrier with nearly 40 million subscribers and a network that covers 262 million people. The merger combines the 3rd and 5th leading U.S wireless carriers, following only Cingular and Verizon Wireless. As part of the deal, Sprint will spin off its local consumer, business and wholesale operations to shareholders of the new company, to be known as Sprint Nextel.
The companies had combined revenues of $40 for the last 12 months, with $6 billion coming from Sprint’s local services.
The executive headquarters for Sprint Nextel will be in Reston, VA and its operational headquarters will be in Overland Park, KS. Gary Forsee, the current chairman and CEO of Sprint will become the president and CEO of the new company and Timothy Donahue, the current president and CEO of Nextel will become the new chairman of the merged company.
The merger is expected to close in the second half of 2005.
Sprint Nextel will introduce handsets compatible with both networks in 2006. Nextel subscribers, which are primarily business customers, will eventually be moved over to Sprint’s network.
Sprint expects the merger to result in $12 billion in operational savings, as well as provide the new company with opportunities to both quickly expand in existing markets and to quickly introduce services in a various set of markets that it currently doesn’t serve.
The future of Sprint’s North Supply division will be determined at a later date.
Shares of both companies fell on news of the merger.
7. Global IP Sound Integrates Telchemy’s Software into VoiceEngine
Global IP Sound has integrated endpoint technology within Telchemy’s VQmon call quality monitoring and analysis software into VoiceEngine, GIS’ packaged software platform for PCs and PDAs that improves VoIP speech quality.
In addition to the supplier agreement, the two companies have also entered into a co-marketing and co-development deal.
Global IP Sound