1st Family to Offer Unlimited VoIP Service for Flat Rate
1st Family, an Internet access provider, has announced that it plans to
offer an Internet telephony long distance service with unlimited calling
time for a flat rate. The company will utilize voice recognition
technologies to enable subscribers to use a traditional phone to dial a
local number to place long distance calls over the Internet without dialing
extra numbers. The provider will offer its Internet access service at no
charge to users of the Internet telephony service, with business accounts
billed at $60 a month and residential services costing $20 per month. A
one-time voice recognition fee will be charged at $100 for business
accounts and $50 for residential users.
1st Family will offer the service utilizing its own proprietary equipment.
The company is in the process of deploying the technology in 40 markets,
only disclosing that it would begin deployments this week in Florida and
California. Once all of the markets are ready-to-go, 1st Family will make
the service commercially available. Service availability is scheduled
before the end of this year.
Teledirect to Offer Net2Phone’s VoIP Services in Europe
Net2Phone has announced that Teledirect Communications GmbH, a European
marketing company, is planning to purchase Net2Phone Direct gateways to
offer a phone to phone Internet telephony service in the European market.
Teledirect’s VoIP service is expected to be commercial available in Madrid
and Almeria, Spain this month. Additional Net2Phone Direct gateways are
scheduled for deployment in Switzerland, Italy, and Hungary over the next
Teledirect plans to offer corporate V/FoIP services as well as pre-paid
calling card services.
VIP Calling to Use Cisco’s VoIP Equipment
VIP Calling has announced that it will deploy Cisco’s equipment in its
international Internet telephony network. According to the terms of the
deal, VIP Calling will purchase more than $10 million worth of Cisco’s
Internet telephony gateways and switches.
Cisco’s portfolio of VoIP products include the 2600, 3600, AS5300 and the
AccessPath VS3 access system. The H.323 compliant products have port
capacities ranging from 2 to 120. The solutions support both fax and voice
Lucent Introduces IP Gateway Systems for LANs and WANs
Lucent Technologies has announced the introduction of its line of IP
Exchange Systems (IPES). The family of IP Exchange Systems is comprised of
the IP ExchangeComm system, designed for mid-sized businesses, and the IP
ExchangeLink system, a SOHO solution.
The IP ExchangeComm system will initially support up to 96 phones and fax
machines at a single site, with plans to eventually provide support for
port capacities of up to 1,000. It enables businesses to share the
resources of a single server across multiple locations. Its call manager
software will provide call routing and PBX-like telephony features
including conference, transfer, hold, drop, call forward, call waiting,
voice mail, and advanced applications such as IVR and call center
functionality. The solution includes an IP Exchange Adapter, for connecting
traditional phones and fax machines to the system, and an optional IP
telephony gateway to connect the system to the PSTN.
The IP ExchangeLink system links as many as 48 telephones and fax machines
through a business’ existing LAN. It is an integrated solution that
combines call manager communications software, a 7-port Ethernet LAN Hub,
an IP Router, and an 8-port Lucent Exchange Adapter to transport voice,
data and fax traffic to and from the PSTN through a gateway. It can be used
as a stand-alone server for a single site, or it can be linked to an IP
ExchangeComm system to create a distributed network.
Both the IP ExchangeComm and IP ExchangeLink systems are based on a
distributed software platform known as Mantra, developed by Bell Labs.
Mantra provides interoperability between the media-platforms and the
operating system platform, connecting directly to IP networks. The initial
release will support analog telephones, Lucent’s PARTNER systems, cordless
phones, fax machines and NetMeeting clients. Lucent plans to develop
interfaces that will support other IP phones by next year.
The IP ExchangeComm system is expected to be available in March 1999, with
the IP ExchangeLink system scheduled for availability in the second quarter
In a related announcement, USWeb and Challenge Dairy are currently testing
the IP Exchange systems. USWeb’s Network Solutions division, a network and
IT consulting firm, is testing both systems in its VoIP testing facility.
Challenge Dairy, which markets and distributes dairy products, will trial
the IP ExchangeComm system for communications between its corporate
headquarters in Dublin, Ca. and its branch office in Los Angeles.
Lucent’s IP Exchange Systems
Netrix and US DOC Report Results From VoIP Quality Testing
Netrix has released the results of a five year R&D study conducted with the
US Department of Commerce (DOC) indicating that telephone users were unable
to distinguish between the voice quality of a Netrix Network Exhange 2200
8K ACELP voice compression circuit and a traditional PSTN circuit. The
findings were based on the relative mean opinion scores of subjects using
the 8K ACELP voice compression and the PSTN with 64kbps, which only
differed by 0.03 on the ITU’s 5.00 point scale.
The testing procedure and laboratory facilities for the study conformed to
the ITU-T’s recommended P.800 testing guidelines. Complete test
descriptions and results are contained in a DOC report entitled, A
Subjective Conversation Test to Evaluate Two Telecommunications Systems.
Copies of the report may be obtained through Netrix.
Killen & Associates Introduce VoIP Market Report
Killen & Associates has just released a VoIP market report entitled,
Internet Protocol Telephony: The Fortune 1000 Market. The report is
based on a survey of Fortune 1000 companies in the retail, manufacturing,
and insurance industries. The survey projects that VoIP services will
comprise 18% of all enterprise voice traffic by the year 2002, growing to
33% by 2005.
The 160-page study includes industry forecasts for the Fortune 1000
markets, VoIP equipment and
services (1998-2002). The report goes for US$4,000.
Killen & Associates
Internet Protocol Telephony: The Fortune 1000 Market