IP Telephony news wrap-up for Mar 14 – 2007

Last week, a jury in a U.S. District Court in Virginia ruled that Vonage infringed on 3 of Verizon’s patents related to the methods it used to offer VoIP services including wireless access to VoIP. Verizon has requested that Vonage’s service be stopped, and the court is expected to rule on the issue soon. If an injunction is imposed, Vonage has said that it will seek an immediate stay from the Federal Court of Appeals. As part of the jury’s decision, Vonage has been awarded approximately $58 million in damages.

Verizon’s lawsuit claimed infringement on 7 of its patents and sought $197 million in damages. The jury rejected 4 of the claims including 2 related to billing. The jury also found that Vonage didn’t intentionally infringe on the patents.

In response to the news, which happened simultaneously with a huge, across the board market sell-off, Vonage’s stock price dropped 20% from $5 a share to $4 a share.

Pulvermedia is hosting a webinar on March 15th at 1:00 EDT that will address the impact of the ruling on the industry. The 40-minute event will cover the scope of the patents involved, the role of competition in the decision, the rulings affect on other VoIP service providers, and the potential implications for regulators and legislators.

Participants in the webinar will include Jonathan Askin and Jim Kohlenberger of VON and Ed Pennington and Rob Bertin of Bingham McCutchen LLP.

Jeff Pulver, the kingpin of Pulvermedia, is a co-founder of Vonage, but no longer has an active role in the company.

You can register for the webinar at http://www.iian.ibeam.com/events/mult001/21928

Texas Instruments (TI) has introduced TMS320C6424 and TMS3206421, two new DSPs designed for enterprise gateways and IP PBX products. Both products are available in 400, 500 and 600 MHz speeds.

The C6421 provides 96 KB of memory consisting of 16 KB of L1D and 16 KB of L1P and 64 KB of L2 SRAM cache. The DSP includes 2 EMIF interfaces, a 16-bit 266 MHz DDR2 and an 8-bit EMIFA, and a VLYNQ and McBSP and McASP interface.

The C6424 features 240 KB of memory based on 80 KB of L1D, 32 KB of L1P, and 128 KB of L2 SRAM cache. The DSP features a 32-bit 333 MHz DDR2 and a 16-bit EMIFA, a PCI 33 MHz or VLYNQ interface for an optional FPGA interfce and two McBSP or a McASP interface.

The performance of the DSPs peak at 4800 MMACs at 600 MHz, which is a significant improvement over earlier generation TI processors. The I/O capabilities are enabled by the EDMA 3.0 with 4.8 GBps throughput and the 333 MHz DDR2 memory interface.

Both new products feature an EMAC or HPI / RMII, 2 UARTs, I2C, GPIO, 3 PWM and 2 64b-timers.

The DSPs are currently available in sample quantities. Production quantity availability is scheduled for Q4 of this year. The C6421 400 MHz DSP is $8.95. The 500 MHz is $11.95 and the 600 MHz version goes for $16.95. The C6424 400 MHz DSP is $15.95. The 500 MHz is $19.95 and the 600 MHz is priced at $24.95. The DSPs are available in 16 mm x 16 mm or 23 x 23 BGA packaging, with the C6421 at 1.0 mm pitch and the C6421 at 0.8 mm pitch.

The DSPs are offered with a board solution and development kit. The evaluation module for the 6424 is priced at $495.

In addition, TI is also offering a commercial off the shelf media processing platform based on the DSP working in conjunction with technology supplied by Surf Communications. Adaptive Digital Technologies is offering G.PAK, a refined VoIP DSP solution that ports to the C6424.

The two new DSPs may also be used in applications related to printers, scanners, copiers and wireless apps such as pico base stations, home gateways and wireless entertainment devices.

Texas Instruments
Integrated Research has introduced the availability of Prognosis IP Telephony Manager 9.0, a lifecycle monitoring and management solution that is compatible within the most popular Avaya IP communications environments. The solution also operates in enterprises where Avaya and Cisco CallManager systems co-exist. Prognosis serves as a supplement to the Avaya Integrated Management Suite and and as a replacement and upgrade for Avaya’s VoIP Monitoring Manager.

Prognosis monitors voice quality, device status and device performance and fault notification. Devices that can be monitored include:

– media servers (S8300, S8400, S8500, S8700, S8710, & S8720)
– phones (46xx and 96xx IP phones, softphone versions 5 and 5.2, and IP agent)
– media gateways (G150, G250, G350, G450, G650, and G700)
– LSPs (3.0.x and 3.1.x)
– media gateway boards
– trunks and trunk groups
– route patterns, dial plans, and partition route groups
– network regions

The new software supports customized thresholds supported by alarms that can be established for a plethora of performance variables.

Prognosis connects to Avaya systems via a SAT interface. It runs on a Windows server (2000, XP, or 2003).

List pricing begins at $50 per phone with discounts applied based on volume and duration of the license term.

Prognosis is a suite of software that not only addresses management and monitoring for active systems but also provides tools for network readiness assessment and pre-deployment assurance testing. Prognosis has been available for Cisco CallManager (3.3, 4.0, 4.1, and 4.2) since 2000 is deployed in 7 of the top ten largest Cisco deployments in the world.

Integrated Research
Comcast has reported that it has more than 2 million VoCable subscribers. Like many of the top U.S. MSOs, Comcast seldom uses VoIP in its advertising, opting instead to use the term digital. In the press announcement, the company seems to suggest cleverly that it isn’t VoIP through the statement: Comcast Digital Voice stands out because calls originate and travel over Comcast’s advanced, proprietary managed network, unlike best effort VoIP offerings that run on the public Internet.

The Dell’Oro Group has released its Q4 2006 study on the VoIP equipment market. The report includes manufacturers’ revenue, average selling prices and license/channel shipments for softswitches, media gateways, session border controllers, and voice application servers. Breakouts are provided for low, medium and high density media gateways.

The firm finds that Cisco led worldwide sales in VoIP equipment sales, based on media gateway sales to North American cable MSOs. Nortel, which led the year in VoIP equipment sales, was the second leading supplier for Q4, followed by Ericsson, Alcatel-Lucent, and Siemens.

Dell’Oro expects sales growth for session border controllers and voice application servers this year, as carriers expand adoption of IP telephony into their networks.

Dell’Oro Group
Global Crossing has introduced Network Integrity, a new suite of management and monitoring tools that will be available to customers of its standard IP VPN service. As part of the service enhancement, the provider is now including premises to premises guarantees or SLAs for packet delivery and latency.

Network Integrity monitors key performance metrics, viewable through the carrier’s uCommand portal. The new add-on features alarms and monthly site to site performance reports.

Separately, Global Crossing has announced that it has launched a new managed Avaya-based IP PBX and SIP trunking service, offered in a unique way that allows customers to cherry pick the features and functionalities of the service. With the new service, customers can select the equipment (as long as it is in the Avaya product line), procurement and installation; local, long distance, international, and toll free calling; private numbering plans, collaboration tools; on-site technical assistance; and remote support.

The new customized model appears to be a new approach across the company’s portfolio of services – a move from packaged plans to a more personalized service.

In other company news, Global Crossing extended local access to its audio conferencing service in 31 European cities and to parts of Asia including Hong Kong, the Phiippines, Taiwan, Australia, Indonesia, and New Zealand. Last year, the provider launched the service in Austria, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Switzerland.

Global Crossing
Pactolus, in conjunction with Pulvermedia, will be hosting a webinar on Wednesday, March 14th at 1:00 EDT that will examine the benefits of using the RapidFlex open source for VoIP service creation. The one hour event, hosted by Pulvermedia’s Carl Ford, will cover the object technologies available and methods for ensuring service performance, reliability, and scalability.

To register for the webinar, go to http://www.iian.ibeam.com/events/mult001/21799

Global IP Solutions (GIPS) has launched Interoffice Voice Trunking, a new voice trunking service for businesses using H.323-based IP PBXs or circuit switched systems. For TDM voice trunking, the service works with a voice gateway. The service is based around GIPS’ proprietary technology, which places the system knowledge at the edge of the network.

Interoffice Voice Trunking runs on a Windows 2000 or XP server.

Global IP Solutions
During the VoiceCon Keynote, Jeff Raikes, president of Microsoft’s Business Division, stated that the company would embed VoIP-based click to talk and presence technology within Outlook and the Sharepoint server. Raikes claims the rollout of Office Communications Server 2007 and Office Communicator 2007 along with subsequent versions of Office software, will result in more than 100 million people having Microsoft Office software that supports click to call within the next 3 years.

Microsoft has introduced a partnership program, inviting developers of SIP-based IP PBX systems to achieve interoperability with both new software products. Also, the beta version of Office Communications Server and Communicator will be made publicly available later this month. To apply for the partnership program or to sign up to beta test the new software, visit http://www.microsoft.com/uc


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