IP Telephony news wrap-up for Jan 10 – 2007

The AT&T/BellSouth merger was approved on December 29th, with a condition that the company not discriminate against certain types or sources of Internet traffic through charging fees or by restricting bandwidth of any content on its networks in any way. The concession only applies over the next two years. The terms are likely to be the basis for a bill to be introduced by Rep Ed Markey next month that would make net neutrality a requirement for all last mile telcos and cable companies.

Verizon, Comcast and Time Warner declined to comment on the issue. Although AT&T agreed to neutrality conditions, the company’s chief lobbyist, Jim Cicconi, called the regulations unwarranted and unwise.

Skype has introduced two new desktop phones that interoperate with the provider’s service, enabling users to replace PC headsets with a phone. The phones, specially designed for Skype usage, support Skype registration provisioning and contact list management directly from the phones’ 2.4 inch color screens. The new phones, which will become available in March, include Ipevo’s Solo 1 and Topcom’s Webtalker 5000.

Some analysts see the PC to PC/phone and phone to phone markets as completely separate. However, as the softphone moves into a hardware device that looks and feels like a normal phone, and can operate without the need of a PC being turned on, the differences between the markets become less obvious. With 136 million registered users and eBay as a parent company, Skype is an excellent position to grab a significant share of the early adopters away from Vonage with little expense.

Digium has introduced AsteriskNow, a GUI designed to run, debug, and build Asterisk. The software includes a setup wizard that enables users with no Linux experience to setup the phone system. AsteriskNow includes some management components, allowing users to add, modify and delete system users as well as establish dialing plans and configure system settings. Download options include ISO/CD image, VM Player image, Xen universal guest image and LiveCD.

The software appliance, built for Asterisk 1.4, is supported by a community forum and feedback sections on the AsteriskNow web site. The software is also available for download from this site.

Vonage has signed a 3-year agreement with EarthLink that calls for the independent VoIP service provider to buy Internet access from EarthLink in cities where the ISP plans to build, own and operate municipal wireless networks. Vonage will then offer muni-wireless access in these markets under the Vonage brand.

To-date, EarthLink has been awarded muni-wireless contracts in Philadelphia, Anaheim, Milpitas, and New Orleans.

Conexant Systems has introduced a new family of VDSL2 CPE SoCs for bridges (CX96220), routers, voice gateways (CX96429 & CX96329) and two pair bonding applications (CX96629). The new products features:

* support for all VDSL2 profiles up to 30a for applications requiring 100/100 Mbps operation, an integrated VoIP engine and a network

* a hardware accelerator engine tht enable up to 1 Gbps of data throughput

* a dedicated voice DSP to support 2 simultaneous VoIP channels

* a DSP architecture available in 30 MHz or 17 MHz and 2-pair bonded configurations enabling products for FTTB, FTTN and CO

* backwards compatibility with ADSL/2/2+ applications

* a wide range of interfaces such as 802.11a/b/g/n, MoCA, HomePNA 3.0, Gigabit Ethernet, HomePlug A/V.

The chips come with a Linux board support package and the vendor’s ISOS software. The products are currently sampling. Volume production is scheduled for March. Pricing is expected to range from $24 to $30 each in volume quantity. Reference designs along with a modular evaluation and development platform are also available.

Conexant Systems
Verso Technologies has acquired Zhone’s iMarc product line consisting of service level management products and services as well as application and service monitoring. The technology enables carriers to comply with QoS standards established in enterprise SLAs.

The value of the deal wasn’t clearly defined. Verso will pay $2.5 million for the intellectual property and an undisclosed amount for the inventory.

The iMarc family was initially developed by Paradyne, which was acquired by Zhone in July, 2005.

Verso Technologies
Zhone Technologies
Aksys Networks has introduced Konnect, a serverless hybrid TDM/VoIP SOHO phone system. The solution features 3-digit dialing between locations, auto attendant, conference calling, individual and group paging, voicemail, voicemail to email, and speakerphones with user programmable keys.

System setup consists of attaching phones to existing LANs and configuring them as well as assigning an extension number and name for each phone.

Users have the option to use VoIP for interoffice and outbound calls or the PSTN.

The Konnect system, with one phone, will go for $300. Availability is scheduled for next quarter.

Aksys Networks
The IMS Forum will hold its next meeting in conjunction with IT Expo at the Broward County Convention Center in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida on January 23rd between 1:00pm – 4:00pm in meeting rooms 209-210. The meeting agenda includes a state of the industry address, a review of Plugfest and updates and outlooks for the technical working group, media and marketing initiatives and industry partnership efforts.

There is a fee to attend. For more information contact Debbie Hetland at dhetland@imsforum.org

IMS Forum
DeltaThree has teamed with Voxbone to expand the availability of phone number for inbound calls using its hosted consumer VoIP solution. Through the partnership, DIDs for DeltaThree’s service will be available in 24 additional countries including Brazil, Mexico, Japan, Turkey, and Poland.

Voxbone S.A.
Panasonic has introduced two new 2-line hybrid TDM/VoIP cordless phones that feature call waiting, caller ID, handset speakerphones, 8-handset expandability, a 3-line backlit LCD and a tri-color incoming call status indicator light. The new phones also include Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum (FHHS) technology for security, minimizing interference, and increasing range.

The Globarange BB-GT1500BT with one handset is available for $100. The BB-GT1540 with a digital answering machine and dual keypads goes for $130.

The phones are currently available in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Australia, Hong Kong, UK, Ireland, Spain, Germany, Austria, and Russia.

The NASDAQ Listing Qualifications Panel has granted Sonus Networks an extension that allows the company until February 12th to file its Form 10-Qs for Q2 and Q3 2006.

Sonus Networks
SMC Networks has introduced SMCPBX 10, a new SIP-based IP PBX for SMBs. The system features 4 LAN ports, 1 WAN port, 2 FXS ports and 2 FXO ports. It has 256 MB of voicemail storage capacity and an external USB port for storage backup. Voice features include auto attendant, conferencing, and voicemail.

Along with the IP PBX, SMC has introduced three new SIP-based phones including the SMCDSP 200 and 205 desktop phones and the SMCWSP-100 802.11b/g wireless phone. The desktop models include the G.711, G.723, G.726, and G.729A/B voice codecs. The phones have 2 100BaseT Ethernet ports on the for for LAN and PC connectivity. The phones support call forwarding, 3-way calling, call hold, call waiting, call transfer and have a speakerphone. The 200 model incorporates PoE. Both can be auto-provisioned with the new IP PBX.

The Wi-Fi phone has a 1.8 inch CSTN LCD with 65K colors. Users are not required to remember a SSID or security for each AP, because the phone stores this information and will connect automatically to the closest preferred wireless network at startup.

The IP PBX and phones will be available next month. The IP PBX will go for $2,200. The 205 model desktop phone will be $140, while the PoE enabled 205 model will go for $160. The Wi-Fi phone will be available for $230.

SMC Networks

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