IP Telephony News Wrap-up for Jun, 15 2004

1. StanaPhone Launches PC to PC/PC to Phone VoIP Service
StanaPhone Communications has launched a VoIP service that provides subscribers using a Windows based PC free PC to PC calls and up to 100 minutes per month of PC to phone calling. Subscribers have web access to their call log and account details. There is no monthly fee or setup fee. Subscribers are only subject to fees if they exceed 100 PC to phone minutes in a month.

Users are assigned a phone number with their subscription. If a subscriber’s account goes unused for 45 days, the phone number and account are terminated.


3. CloseCall Launches Phone to Phone VoIP Service
CloseCall America has launched a phone to phone VoIP service for consumers with broadband Internet connections, via a set of six calling plans including plans targeting the U.S., India and a set of other select international countries primarily in Europe. Subscribers are required to deploy CPE, but the service announcement nor the company’s web site state if users are required to pay a purchase or rental fee for the device. Users can choose from phone numbers based in multiple countries.

The plans include:

VoIP Basic ($4.99 per month): provides users with 2.9 cents per minute calling to North America

1000 USA ($29.99 per month): provides users with 1000 free calling minutes to North America. Calls after the 1000 minutes are used are billed at 2.9 cents per minute.

Unlimited USA ($39.90 per month): provides users with unlimited calling to North America

1000 Europe (29.99 per month + subscription to one of the USA calling plans): provides users with 1000 calling minutes to select European countries

Unlimited Europe ($59.99 per month + subscription to one of the USA calling plans): provides users with unlimited calling to select European countries

1000 India ($184.99 per month + subscription to one of the USA calling plans): provides users with 1000 calling minutes to India. Calls after the 1000 minutes are used are billed at an undisclosed per minute rate.

The select countries included in the Europe plan include Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Spain, the UK, the Czech Republic, Austria, Italy, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Poland and Portugal.

CloseCall America

5. Elitel to Offer Primary Line Residential VoIP in Italy
Elitel, a CLEC, plans to launch primary line residential VoIP services later this month in Italy. The provider already offers IP Centrex services. Both consumer and enterprise VoIP services will be delivered using Sylantro’s VoIP solution.

Elitel serves more than 100,000 consumer and business customers.


7. Five9 Launches Hosted VoIP Call Center Solution
Five9 has launched VoIP Virtual Contact Center, a hosted SIP based solution for small to mid sized call centers and companies that provide call center services. The system features automatic call distribution, predictive dialer, customer relationship management, IVR, CTI, remote agent capabilities, skills based routing, recording, silent monitoring, real time reporting, chat, centralized management for multi-site and offshore contact centers, security encryption, and call blending. Call blending enables customers to run multiple campaigns using both outbound predictive dialing combined with inbound call distribution using skills group routing.

The hosted contact center service fees start at $300 per month. Customers are not required to purchase VoIP adapters.


9. Nortel Enhances Edge Router & Network Edge Platform
Nortel Network has enhanced the features and capabilities of its Services Edge Router 5500, formerly known as the Shasta 5000 Broadband Services Node. The router is a platform for converging VPNs, broadband aggregation, and IP service capabilities over a MPLS infrastructure.

The new release supports twice the number of VPNs supported by the previous model and scales to support 64,000 subscribers per platform. The technology is implementing the emerging TR-059 spec, as a framework for delivering tiered IP levels of service over DSL networks.

The new router will enable billing based on volume, usage or application type and is designed to support new service models such as usage based networking, visitor based networking, and DSL based VPN access.

In addition to the 5500, Nortel has also introduced its MPE 9000 series, a network edge platform solution allowing serving providers to converge voice, data, wireless, and multimedia services onto a single MPLS network. Equant, Telus, and Infonet are scheduled to test the technology. General availability is scheduled for Q4 of this year.

Nortel Networks

11. Global Crossing Granted License to Operate in Hong Kong
Global Crossing has been granted a Public Non-Exclusive Telecommunications Service License by the Office of Telecommunications Authority to offer international telecom services within the area. Global Crossing is in the process of deploying a co-lo facility in Hong Kong, in preparation to offer on-net services such as managed ATM, Frame Relay, IP VPN, VoIP, and IP video.

The provider plans to expand its network co-los next to Tokyo, Singapore and then to Sydney.

Global Crossing

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