AT&T to Launch Internet Calling Services
AT&T has announced that it will trial its WorldNet Voice Internet
telephony service from state to state at seven and half cents to nine
cents per minute. Users will not need to use any computer equipment as
they will be able to use their traditional phone to dial a local access
number, enter an authorization number, then dial the desired number.
The service will be billed using credit cards to pre-pay for a set
amount of minutes.
AT&T will use its existing IP network to carry the traffic. The
service will be available 24-7 starting in the second quarter of ’98.
AT&T will also offer a One Rate Online service which will allow users
to do all of their business with AT&T online at www.att.com. The
service will charge a flat rate of ten cents per minute for direct
dialed state to state calls made from home. Users will have to sign
up for the service at AT&T’s website. Invoices will also need to be
viewed at the website as they will not be sent by mail. There will
be a $1 monthly fee for the service and all charges will be billed
to a credit card.
The 10 cents per minute One Rate Online service will begin in March ’98.
Users of the WorldNet Voice service will be able to use the One Rate
Online service for nine cents per minute, a one cent per minute discount,
and will not be charged the $1 service fee.
Nortel Introduces Browser Call Button
Nortel has introduced Voice Button for web pages allowing Internet
users to initiate real-time voice connections with businesses simply
by clicking an icon. First time users will fill out a form indicating
whether they would like to be contacted via a second phone line or over
the Internet via Microsoft’s NetMeeting. To be contacted over the
Internet Users will need to have NetMeeting installed on their PCs.
Users will then click on the Voice Button and it will initiate a call
to the customer using the method selected. When the customer answers this
call, Voice Button initiates a second call to the business representative.
While this call is being established, a customized announcement may be
played for the customer. A text chat facility is also supported to
facilitate the exchange of information.
The Voice Button is currently completing some trials with TriNet Services.
TriNet is evaluating different options for linking the Voice Button into
web pages including HTML, Java applets, and URL encoded hyperlinks. TriNet
is also testing software that would allow Voice Button users to share web
pages during a call.
Voice Button demo at http://www.nortel.com/voicebutton/action.htm.
KDD Communications to Expand the Availability of its Internet Telephony Services
KDD Communications (KDDC) has announced that it will expand the availability
of its Internet telephony service to 40 countries/areas. KDDC initially
launched the Internet telephony service in December to 15 countries/areas
and will deploy the service in 25 more countries/areas by February 1, 1998.
KDD charges a basic fee for Internet telephone use but will waive the fee
for Internet connection users in an attempt to generate more Internet
U.S.West to Expand its Network and Service Offerings Using Cisco, Intermedia, & Williams
U.S. West Communications has announced an alliance with Cisco Systems
and Intermedia Communications to complete its next-generation national
Cisco will provide the advanced switching and other capabilities that
will allow US West to create a multi-service national network for the
delivery of new services based on its IP carrier capabilities. U.S. West
is planning to expand its Cisco powered network outside of its current
14-state region. The expansion will give US West’s customers national
frame relay service, ATM service, LAN switching service, managed data
services and Internet based services. Cisco and US West plan to jointly
develop new services including IP telephony, fax, and video applications
as well as network publishing, service delivery integration, and multilink
The parnership with Intermedia will give US West national deployment of
its data network and Internet services through Intermedia’s 142 data
switches and more than 38 network to network interfaces. The relationship
will also allow US West to offer end to end data and Internet services
both inside and outside of its 14 state region.
As soon as US West is granted regulatory relief under section 271 of the
Telecommunications Act of 1996, it will have the ability to offer its own
inter-region, inter-LATA services as well as the existing US West and
Intermedia nationwide data capabilities.
The alliances with Cisco and Intermedia come on the heels of an agreement
with Williams Communications that provides US West with access to
approximately 11,000 optic miles across the U.S., which will be extended
to more than 18,000 miles by the winter of ’98.
Nissin and ComUse Develop Internet Fax System
Nissin Electric and ComUse have jointly developed an Internet facsimile
system for handwritten documents. The service will use special forms
that will need to be filled out in block style handwriting. In addition to
being able to send documents from a facsimile machine over the Internet,
the system will also be able to retrieve information from web pages and
The two companies will co-market the system initially to travel agencies
and telemarketing companies. It should be available by March 1, 1998.
New Exhibition and Conference in Latin America
The Asociacion Hispanoamericana de Centros de investigacion y Empresas
de Telecomunicaciones (AHCIET) has announced DigiCom ’98, a Latin
American Internet exhibition and conference for its 46 telephone and
wireless companies. There will be representatives from 20 countries
in attendance. Participating telcos will be from countries including
Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Columbia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican
Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua,
Panama, Paraguay, Puerto Rico, Spain, Uruguay, Venezuela, U.S. and European
DigiCom will be devoted to the Internet, ADSL in particular, with topics
including bandwidth, Internet telephony, Intranets, Mobile data, Set-top
boxes, Directory Services, Government, Education and Training, Electronic
cash and payments, and Advertising and Marketing.
The exhibition/conference will take place in Caracas, Venezuela scheduled
for May 25-26, 1998.
LanOptics to Work on Internet Quality Issues in 1998
LanOptics has announced that it will focus on developing real time
facsimile, gigabit ethernet, and Internet bandwidth control in 1998.
The company’s NetXchange subsidiary is currently developing real-time
fax technology which has already interested some service providers.
The technology should be available late in ’98.
LanOptics will expand its core network switching technology by
developing a standards-based wire-speed gigabit ethernet ASIC.
Its ASIC will integrate multi-layer switching, standard VLANs,
layer 3 VLANs and quality of service features in hardware. The
chip will begin production in Q’3 ’98.
NetGuard, another LanOptic’s subsidiary, will release its Guidepost
Bandwidth Control software in February. The software will run on
NT platforms and will be able to surpass firewalls. The technology
will allow ISPs and corporations to manage and control bandwidth
allocation on the Internet.
VCON to Distribute VidoServer’s Multipoint Conferencing Servers
VideoServer has announced that VCON will resell is VideoServer
Encounter NetServer for H.323 conferencing solutions. Based on
the terms of the agreement, VCON will distribute VideoServer’s
multimedia conference servers (MCSs) globally.
The Encounter NetServer is a H.323 MCS for LAN-based conferencing
applications. It is built on Windows NT/Intel architecture and is
fully compliant with H.323 protocols. The server will allow users
the ability to multipoint conference over the Internet, corporate
intranets, and LANs.
Any of VCON’s multipoint conferencing systems will integrate with
the NetServer bringing video at 30 fps and up to 768 Kbps over LAN
to any desktop, laptop, or conference room.
FaxNet Selected by Alpha Software to Carry ExpressFax Internet Facsimile Services
FaxNet has announced that it has been selected as the service provider
for facsimiles sent over the Internet from a desktop using Alpha
Software’s ExpressFax. Users of ExpressFax will transfer files from
any Windows application directly into ExpressFax. ExpressFax will
automatically pick up the recipients name and fax number from the
document. The document will then be encrypted and sent to a FaxNet
server which will send the facsimile to its destination. The FaxNet
servers will notify users via email of facsimile transmission status.
ExpressFax features will include the ability to add and store fax
recipients, use customized cover pages, and combine different types
of documents into a single facsimile. The product is available at
CompUSA, Computer City, Best Buy, MicroCenter, EB, Staples, Office
Depot, Offic Max, Fryis, and Egghead.