IP Telephony News Wrap-up for Jul, 20 2005

1. Light Reading Releases Study of VoIP Gateway Market
Light Reading has released VOIP Gateways: Surviving the Softswitch Revolution details how different classes of network operators are using carrier-class VOIP gateways in their networks and assesses those operators’ long-term VOIP gateway deployment strategies and business models for delivering VOIP services to consumers, enterprises, and wholesale users. The report analyzes VOIP network architectures and strategies now in place at eight leading carriers, including AT&T, Global Crossing, and Level 3 Communications.

The report also provides a competitive analysis of the VOIP gateway products and strategies of more than a dozen equipment manufacturers, including major incumbent vendors such as Alcatel, Cisco Systems, Huawei Technologies, Lucent Technologies, and Nortel Networks, as well as VOIP specialists such as Sonus Networks.

The firm finds:

     * VOIP gateways are taking over some of the functions of softswitches, including routing, call building, SS7 interconnection, and feature server application support

     * The core economic driver for VOIP gateways’ higher profile is VOIP traffic volume

     * The centralized call control offered by softswitches has grown unprofitable, and thus unfashionable

     * Eventually, VOIP gateways will look more like large computers and less like carrier telecom equipment

The 16-page study is available for $900 or as part of an annual subscription service that runs $1,350.

Light Reading

3. Televolution Launches Consumer VoIP Service
Televolution has launched PhoneGnome, a secondary-line consumer VoIP service based solely on either per second or per minute billing. Rates are not published online. Service features are sparse with the set including call waiting, caller 3-way calling, voicemail to email and speed dial. e911 and operator assistance are not supported. Televolution suggests callers use their PSTN connection for these calls.

Although subscribers are not charged a monthly fee, they must purchase a PhoneGnome ATA for $120.

Like a few other service startups, PhoneGnome is marketing its ATA rather than its service. In fact, on the company’s web site, Televolution claims PhoneGnome isn’t a service on the main page, but on other pages within the site, argues why PhoneGnome is a better service than Skype. Televolution’s press statement said that consumers can choose a plan from the provider of their choice, but the web site doesn’t mention provider options.

Televolution was founded by David Beckemeyer, former CTO at EarthLink.


5. ISS Finds Security Flaw in Cisco’s Call Manager
Internet Security Systems (ISS) has identified a flaw in Cisco’s Call Manager that would allow an attacker to potentially trigger a heap overflow service condition. Through the vulnerability in the technology, an attacker could shut down the entire voice system, redirect calls, eavesdrop, or gain access to networks and machines running Cisco VoIP products.

Free software fixes are available for download from Cisco’s web site.

ISS has issued a more detailed report on the flaw. A link to the report is provided below. Cisco has also commented on the finding and a link below is also provided to its response.



ISS Report on Flaw

Cisco Comment on Flaw

7. AT&T Wins New Contracts; Rolls Out e911 Service
AT&T has been awarded contracts to provide networking solutions for Criticom and Whirlpool. The providers deal with Criticom, with an estimated value of $1 million, calls for AT&T to provide design, installation, and maintenance for a VoIP network that would connect 4 offices in 3 states.

AT&T has also won a $27 million, 5-year contract from Whirlpool to implement a global IP network that would connect 150 locations.

In a separate, half-baked announcement, AT&T said that it would be rolling out e911 service to CallVantage subscribers on a market by market basis throughout the summer. The service will not work if there is a power outage or interruption in broadband service. The service will also not work for subscribers choosing phone numbers outside their local market. Subs that travel with a VoIP phone may access e911 services, but must first submit new address information to AT&T before it can become accessible.




9. Softbank BB Interconnects with iBasis
Softbank BB, the largest primary line consumer VoIP serivce provider with nearly 5 million subscribers in Japan, will interconnect its network with iBasis to exchange VoIP traffic.

Softbank BB


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