IP Telephony news wrap-up for Jul 21 – 2006

Microsoft and Nortel have entered into a 4-year agreement that includes joint marketing and development of unified communications solutions based on Microsoft’s platform as well as the creation of a development alliance initiative open to other developers. Both companies will invest resources in marketing, business development, and delivery of solutions for small and medium businesses, large enterprises, and service providers.

The deal calls for Nortel to provide systems integration, planning, monitoring, and management of enterprise services that would employ a combination of Nortel and Microsoft’s technologies. Examples of Nortel technology to be deployed alongside Microsoft’s unified communications platform include enterprise contact center applications, mission critical telephony functions, mobility capabilities, and data networking infrastructure.

The agreement includes a co-development initiative that includes collaboration on the creation of enterprise, mobile and wireline carrier solutions. The two companies will cross-license intellectual property.

The new development alliance has been named the Innovative Communications Alliance and there is already a web site established detailing its mission.

Nortel Networks
Innovative Communications Alliance
Playing off the term phishing, security companies are calling the new scam that leverages VoIP technology as vishing. Vishing is the use of a VoIP line to either make or receive calls to trick people into revealing their credit card information over the phone.

In one instance reported, emails spoofed to look like they were from PayPal, asked recipients to call a phone number to verify credit card account information. In another case, a scam artist used an automatic dialer to randomly call phone numbers and coerce people to diclose their credit card information by claiming fraudulent activity had been identified on their cards.

In both instances, the vishing schemes used VoIP services, enabling the scammers easier anonymity and the ability to select a phone number in a geographic location consistent with the scam.

To date, only 2 vishing scams have been reported and made public through the media. Security analysts such as Paul Henry of Secure Computing, expect the practice to become very common. He recommends that people only disclose credit card information via phone on outbound calls directly to the number on the back of their credit cards – no exceptions. Henry also noted that folks should be wary of any caller that doesn’t know your full name.

Radvision has introduced IMS SIP Toolkit, a set of tools, suitable for both clients and servers, for developing network entities based on P-CSCF, I-CSCF, S-SCSF, BGCF, AS, UE, MGCF, MRFC and SGW. The toolkit is coded in ANSI C and available for mutliple operating systems.

The new toolkit features an open, object-oriented architecture. It provides multiple API layers. SIP extensions include support for IMS registration, MD5-ADA, RFC 3329 security agreement, IPsec with ESP transport mode and manual keying.

The toolkit joins other Radvision products for IMS including the SIP Server, Java SIP, MEGACO, RTP toolkits and the ProLab IMS testing and analysis suite.

To complement the introduction of the new product, the company has released a new IMS SIP white paper.

IMS SIP White Paper
Vonage, one of the top two consumer VoIP service providers in the U.S., is still struggling to recover from the woes that emerged from its IPO two months ago. The stock, trading under the symbol VG on the NYSE, opened at $17 per share in May but was trading at $6.93 per share at the time this newsletter was published. In addition to the stock price plummeting, the IPO triggered shareholder fury, with class action lawsuits filed by dozens of law firms.

Many of the shareholders involved in the lawsuits are customers – making the company’s greatest advocates now its greatest critics. The release of the IPO uncovered details of the company’s technology and in response, Sprint Nextel and Verizon have filed separate patent infringement lawsuits against the company. Verizon claims Vonage has infringed on seven of its VoIP patents.

If there wasn’t enough information already on why one shouldn’t invest in Vonage, I just read a Business Week article in a doctor’s waiting office that claims that the VoIP service provider spent spent $31,570 using services provided by Direct Revenue last July, based on an arrangement in which Direct Revenue received $110 each for the 287 subscribers that were signed via the pop-up. Although many companies have quit doing business with Direct Revenue once they are exposed for participating, but Vonage’s ads still appear in pop-ups, according to the news magazine.

Business Week Article on Spyware (highly recommended reading)
Vertical Communications has released version 7.5 of Televantage, the company’s SIP based IP PBX. Improvements in the new release include automatic remote login for mobile users, last agent routing for call centers, multi-site capabilities via PSTN and VoIP, support for more IP phone models and VoIP services, enhanced SIP functionality and integration with the company’s GUI.

The Televantage IP PBX supports unified messaging, personalized call handling rules. call recording and a contact center.

Vertical Communications
Foundry Networks has introduced 2 new VoIP switches, the FastIron SX800 and SX 1600. The switches feature redundant power, 10/10/1000 Mbps PoE and hardware based low latency switching and routing, 1:1 redundant management, dual load-sharing switch modules, redundant fans and N+1 redundant modules for system and PoE power.

The switches employ a dual power distribution design that enables the PoE and system power distribution to operate independently including engineering, provisioning, and managing.

Security is provided through a policy based network access control, IP source guard, dynamic ARP inspection and DHCP snooping shield.

Both switches feature 1:1 redundant, load sharing system and PoE power supply bays; dual load shring switch fabric module slots field; and removable fan tray with redundant fans.

The SX 1600 scales up to 36 10-GE and 384 ports of 10/100/1000 Mbps PoE ports, each capable of delivering 15.4 watts. It features 16 line card slots and is available in a 14 RU height.

The SX 800, with 8 line cards, is available in a 6 RU height

The management modules includea 667 MHz CPU with 512MB of SDRAM and a 2-port 10-GE management module, running off of a 667MHz CPU with 512MB of SDRAM.

The line modules include a series of 24-port modules for 10/100/1000 Mbps RJ-45 copper, PoE-ready, 10/100/1000 Mbps SFP fiber, and 1000 Mbps SFP fiber. There are also 2-port, 10 Gigabit Ethernet modules for LAN PHY and for LAN and WAN PHY.

Foundry Networks
DeltaThree is providing ICQ and UBIUS with back-office services via XML APIs to support ICQ’s PC to phone service available to ICQ5.1 users outside of the U.S. and Hong Kong and to UBIUS’ phone to phone, PC to phone and calling card customers in Korea and the U.S.

ICQ’s prepaid service will feature one click dialing, call logs, a phone book and access to a user’s own account balance.

In both instances, DeltaThree’s technology is being offered through the company’s Outsourced Platform Solution.

* Cablevision Systems has reported surpassing one million VoIP based VoCable subscribers – all from the metro New York City area.

* Korea Telecom plans to deploy Acme Packet’s Net Net SBCs throughout its national network.

* VocalTec has released a new version of its EX Peering Manager that features extensive topology hiding functionality in the media layer, allowing wholesale operators, clearinghouses, and bilateral traffic exchange organizations to expose just one IP address to their peering partners.

Cablevision Systems
Acme Packet
Korea Telecom
VocalTec Communications

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