IP Telephony news wrap-up for Jun 7 – 2006

Motorola has introduced Home Hub 1620, a DSL VoIP wireless gateway that includes a 802.11b/g wireless access point, a 4-port router, a USB 2.0 host connection, a USB 1.1 slave connection and a SIP-based VoIP adapter. The device runs wired and wireless home networks as well as powers standard phones using VoIP service.

Other features to the new gateway include voice over data prioritization; support for a suite of calling features such as caller ID, call waiting, 3-way calling, and call forwarding; support for 2 lines of phone service; and security based on 802.11i and secure mobile pairing. The gateway also supports PSTN failover, remote managemement, and video support.

The Home Hub 1620 will be available this summer.

Patton Electronics has introduced EnviroNet, a new line of commercial outdoor networking gear that includes a VoIP gateway designed for outdoor implementations such as with a pay phone, utility pole call box or mine shaft hotline. The gateway, which converts FXS, FXO, and ISDN BRI to VoIP, is NEMA4-compliant. It can operate in extreme temperatures ranging from -40 degree to 85 degrees Celsius.

Patton Electronics
NexTone has enhanced its IntelliConnect VoIP and IMS platform to include Dynamic Policy Management, a function that allows network operators to automatically control interconnects used by real-time sessions, to optimize service quality, availability, and network capacity. The technology dynamically updates session policies and enables troubleshooting of VoIP quality issues such as 1-way audio, long post dial delays and low average seizure ratios.

The IntelliConnect system manages all aspects of network interconnects for real-time services and applications, including end-user policies, service connectivity, multi-vendor interoperability, and traffic management. It includes a range of edge devices: the company’s SBC, a standalone Session Border Controller for securing bilateral interconnects; the MSX, a Multiprotocol Session Exchange platform for interconnecting SIP and H.323 networks; and the IMX, an IP Multimedia Exchange platform for interconnecting IP and IMS networks. All the edge devices are centrally controlled by the Real-time Session Manager (RSM) in the network core.

The new Dynamic Policy Management capability is implemented through a manager-agent interaction, where edge devices act as the agent element of the system and the RSM is the analytical center and manager. NexTone’s SBC, MSX, IMX, and third-party edge devices gather session detail record (SDR) data at interconnects and continually stream that data back to the RSM. The SDR includes over 90 fields of data, describing where endpoints are located, data exchanged to initiate a session, session rate and duration, diagnostic information, and quality measures.

The RSM collects and analyzes SDR information from the edge devices, as well as logs and alarms, and then updates policies established by operator business and engineering teams to control the network, such as how calls are routed and service level agreements are maintained. The RSM then dynamically pushes the revised policies out to the endpoints, using a standard XML interface to update third-party devices and a native object database interface to update edge devices. The native interface on the devices provide faster and more efficient bulk policy updates. Once analysis is complete, the RSM can also aggregate and stream the SDRs to third-party reporting and billing systems.

To provide visibility into service and network quality, the RSM provides both a business reporting dashboard for management and a policy portal for operators and network engineers. The policy portal provides a view of session activity across network interconnects. Information gathered from SDRs, log files, and alarms is summarized here for further analysis and action by operators. The portal also provides a facility to provision and manually update policies and to arrange for automatic notification of any dynamic changes to network policies.

The system also includes a reporting dashboard that provides a high-level view of the real-time user experience on the network. Management can see the quality of the user experience at the session level, and can drill down to specific reports if they want more detailed information.

NexTone Communications
Zyxel has introduced a new VoIP IAD and a new VoIP router for SMBs. The P-2608HWL is an IAD featuring a 4-port switch, built-in router, ADSL 2/2+ modem, 802.11g wireless access point and 8 FXS phone ports for connecting up to 8 analog phones. Security for the new product is provided via IPSec VPN.

The P-2304R is a SIP-based VoIP router featuring one 10/100M auto MDI/MDIX Ethernet port, a firewall, UPnP support, and SIP functionalities for up to 4 FXS phone port connections.

Both products are currently available.

Conexant Systems has introduced its CX9461x product line, a new family of network processors designed for DSL gateways, bridges and routers deployed by providers offering triple play services. The processors include integrated wireless LAN (Wi-Fi), ADSL2+ and VoIP capaibilities. The product suite is based on an ARM network processor and Conexant’s own DSL, Prism wireless networking, and voice processing technologies.

The processors include an AFE and single chip network processor with integrated 802.11a/b/g MAC and baseband functionality. VoIP is supported with integrated PSTN failover, USB 2.0, and Fast Ethernet. Other features include a security engine with hardware acceleration for VPN applications and integrated memory to support IPTV.

The vendor is providing reference designs that can be used with either Linux or Conexant’s ISOS OS. Support is provided for IPTV QoS, firewall, Wi-Fi configuration, and DSLHome.

Certain processors in the new product line are currently sampling. The first product volumes in the new line are scheduled for availability in July. Pricing, in volume, will be $10-$15 per unit, depending on the features. Complete reference designs for product prototyping are available now.

Conexant Systems
ABI Research has released IMS Core Networks for Fixed and Mobile Operators, a study of the emerging network spec along with 5-year forecasts for subscriber numbers, ARPU, service revenue and capital expenditure. The publication is offered through two separate subscription services – Wireless Infrastructure and IP Networking.

The firm finds fixed and mobile network operators will invest $10.1 billion in IMS capital infrastructure over the next 5 years and that IMS driven services will generate $49.6 billion in revenue in 2011.

The report goes for $4,500.

ABI Research
Net2Phone has filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in New Jersey that claims Skype has infringed on its patentend P2P approach to VoIP.

C-Cor has introduced Bandwidth Quality of Service Network Appliance, a VoCable bandwidth management solution that combines the company’s CableEdge Assurance and Policy Service Manager. The technology finds and manages power users; prioritizes congested channels by number of subs affected and serverity of slowdowns; selects the best modulation to support the most subs; maintains exact measures of congestion and network availability on a per modem, node/port, hub and system basis; ensures fair share usage of high-speed data bandwidth and prioritizes VoIP traffic; and increases capacity to support more subs.

BroadSoft has introduced QuickStart Express, a software solution designed to ease the process of deploying the company’s BroadWorks application platform. The program uses instructions, templates and conceptual models to guide users through launch planning, customer acquistion, and service delivery.

The software includes models illustrating how to map licenses and services to user type, specifies phones and configurations for each user profile, provides sample code for integration with back office systems, and supplies templates for different activities such as ordering and provisioning. The program also includes sales presentations for different applications and different audiences, and provides process maps illustrating user and functional workflow.

QuickStart Express is free for BroadWorks customers.

A group of consumer advocacy groups and various other organizations are joining together to voice opposition to the AT&T/BellSouth merger. The groups are encouraging state public utility commissions and the FCC to view the merger as the creation of a monopoly. The groups’ claim the combined companies would control nearly half of U.S. phone lines and the largest collection of wireless spectrum as well as be the nation’s largest wireless company, largest broadband company, largest long distance company, and largest VoIP company.

The groups associated with the merger opposition effort include the American Antitrust Institute (they don’t trust any company), Comptel, the Consumer Federation of America, the Free Press, the Media Access Project, and the National Association of State Utility Consumer Advocates.

As with most consumer initiatives that have enough steam to issue press releases, you can expect that funding to complain is being provided by competitors that expect to be negatively impacted by the merger. However, the competition should only look at history to realize that mergers between two or more poorly managed companies typically don’t work out well.


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