U.S. House of Representatives to Vote on VoIP Access Charges
The U.S. House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on an amendment to bill HR 1291, which extends the non-taxation of Internet access services through 2006, but includes a subsection that could allow for access charges to be levied on Internet phone services irrespective of the type of customer premises equipment used in connection with such services.
The floor vote on this bill is slated for Tuesday, May 16th.
Amendment to H.R. 1291
U.S. House of Representatives
Phonecalls.com to Deploy Nuera’s VoIP Technology
Phonecalls.com reported that it is planning to deploy Nuera Communications’ VoIP technologies. According to the terms of the agreement, Phonecalls plans to purchase 6 of Nuera’s ORCA (Open Reliable Communications Architecture) V/FoIP gateways for deployment at its New York City facility. The provider intends to use the gateways to develop interconnectivity between its operations in China as well as its partner provider’s networks.
The ORCA gateways have recently been enhanced to support from 120 to 2000 simultaneous voice or real time fax ports per chassis, on a Frame Relay or IP based network, with the capability to implement call transfer rates between 4.8 kbps to 64 kbps on a call by call basis. The system provides CAS, R2, FAS, SS7, CC7, ISDN, MGCP, SIP and H.323 (G.711, G.729, G.729A and G.165) signaling. Nuera’s embedded softswitch technology will handle MGCP based call setup and tear down. Network and system control is offered via Hewlett Packard’s OpenView based management system.
Phonecalls is in the process of developing a VoIP service that will consist of offering prepaid Internet telephony phone cards from a network of web sites that will enable users to place calls via its infrastructure and partnership termination agreements, as soon as the cards are registered and paid for at its web site.
Startec Secures $16 Million in Private Placement
Startec Global Communications reported that it has sold 1,377,800 shares of its common stock to raise approximately $16.5 million in funds. The company plans to use the proceeds to expand its operations via acquisition and to develop interoperability between the technologies of its acquisitions. The company is in the process of establishing a global IP network based on both Clarent’s and Cisco’s equipment (IP, ATM and traditional platforms) deployed throughout Africa, the Asia Pacific, Central Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, Russia and the U.S. The network features over 32 POPs (71 IP gateways and 8 switches) located in over 32 countries, with command centers utilizing SS7 technologies in Los Angeles, Miami, New York and Guam. The network combined with the company’s 50 international termination agreements and ownership interests in 15 undersea optic cables enable it to route traffic to more than 44 countries.
Startec Global Communications
Acer & Beijing Bell Team With AltiGen to Develop Products
AltiGen Communications said that it is teaming with both Acer America and Beijing Bell to develop VoIP based phone systems. According to the terms of the agreement with Acer America, the firm plans to integrate AltiGen’s VoIP gateway technologies and AltiServe Windows NT based server based telecommunications system with Acer’s Altos servers to provide a platform that can support voicemail, auto attendant and ACD functionality as well as VoIP and other Internet applications. In the deal with Beijing Bell, the companies plan to develop a solution based on AltiGen’s VoIP technologies and Beijing Bell’s PSTN connectivity that will enable users to access IP telephony or traditional services.
The AltiGen/Acer solution is slated for launch this fall, with the AltiGen/Beijing Bell solution scheduled for availability this winter.
Wavetech Receives $5 Million in Private Placement
Wavetech International announced that it has completed a $5 million private placement of 6 percent of its series B convertible preferred stock and common stock purchase warrants. The firm plans to use the funding for working capital, to expedite the launch its recently introduced web based VoIP service on a commercial basis, expand its marketing activities and to expand the capacity of its New York and Los Angeles facilities. The firm will also use the funds to pay off a $2 million loan.
The VoIP service, Bestnetcall, was introduced in trial format last month. It enables users to access its web site to enter a destination phone number to place a call, which is connected from phone to phone. The provider has also developed a section at the web site that enables users to open an account and/or view and manage account details such as billing and called number information, billing codes and account status. It also offers phone book listings.
The beta test is expected to last through this month.
Global Internet Communications Granted IXC Status
Global Internet Communications (GIC) reported that it has been granted InterExchange Carrier (IXC) status by the California Public Utilities Commission. IXC status will allow GIC to carry out its business plans to market long distance services throughout the U.S., and develop an international high speed convergent telecommunications network. The provider currently offers high speed Internet access, and is developing a service bundle that will integrate local telephone, VoIP, FoIP, email, voicemail and video conferencing services. The company is initially planning to market the bundled package on a revenue sharing basis to commercial property owners in the Bay Area, with ultimate plans to expand the services throughout the U.S.
Global Internet Communications
PhoneFree Completes $42 Million Round Of Funding
PhoneFree.com reported that it has completed a $42 million round of financing with Blackstone Capital Partners III, eVentures Group, Millennium Technology Ventures, EFO Holdings, Cain Capital, Brazos Investment Partners, Activated Communications and TeKBanC Limited. The firm plans to use the funding to further develop its communications services and products and expand its marketing initiatives. The company offers technologies that support services such as voicemail, video mail, video calling, teleconferencing and free PC to PC VoIP calling.
ipx to Use Cirilium’s VoIP Technologies In T-Portal Initiative
ipx reported that it is planning to integrate Cirilium’s H.323 and MGCP compliant gateways into the T-Portal value added services offering. T-Portal is comprised of various companies teaming to offer technologies/applications and services that will enable providers, such as VoIP carriers, to access and offer an array value added applications including unified messaging, conferencing, collaboration, customer relationship management and service management applications.
The H.323 and MGCP gateways will allow the participating providers to interoperate across networks without regard to the type of equipment utilized. Users who deploy Cirilium’s Power Suite Media Gateway will have total access to the breadth of applications available from T-Portal.