I-Link & Red Cube Team to Develop Global Services
The Red Cube Group reported that is planning to license and deploy I-Link’s Gate Link VoIP technologies throughout its existing European networks. The companies also intend to interconnect their respective networks to exchange traffic. According to the terms of the agreement, Red Cube will initially pay I-Link $20 million for technology licensing, consulting fees and prepaid revenues, and both providers will explore joint development opportunities with other providers. With the networks interconnected, the firms will be able to offer services throughout Europe, the U.S. and Asia, with plans to jointly expand operations into Africa, Canada, the Middle East, the Pacific Rim and South America by the end of the year.
The open-API GateLink programming platform will enable Red Cube and other providers to develop IP communications services/products that include conference calling and text to speech capabilities, with access to both I-Link’s U.S. domestic IP network and Red Cube’s European networks. The product (which supports Linux, Windows and Unix) has built in support for an array of IP telephony features such as one number call routing, call screen and unified messaging (voice, fax, pager, email). It can be used to create conference calling services/applications that can support an unlimited number of participants, and the text to speech technology can be used to develop services that can be accessed via a telephone such as access to email or voice mail messages. The conference calling and text to speech technologies use I-Link’s programmable soft switch platform which includes resource allocation, routing and failure rerouting capabilities as well as an operating system layer that can be used for billing and data collection, real time network monitoring, troubleshooting and resource management.
I-Link recently landed a deal with Global Crossing, in which it will use Global Crossing’s network to offer one plus dialing from local phones for access to its network and IP telephony services. Subscribers will dial a CIC code before the destination phone number that will prompt the local telco to route the call to Global Crossing’s infrastructure, which will transfer the call to I-Link’s IP based network. Global Crossing will provide connectivity between a local telco’s traditional network and I-Link’s IP based network in at least 40 U.S. markets including New York, Boston and Los Angeles.
In other news, I-Link reported that it has implemented a class of service technology into its U.S. domestic IP network that will enable it to prioritize traffic and offer a tiered pricing schedule for services.
Red Cube Group
High Speed Access to Deploy Lucent & Portal Gear For Cable VoIP
High Speed Access (HAS) reported that it is planning to deploy Lucent’s IP telephony technologies to support IP telephony services over cable systems in select U.S. markets. According to the terms of the approximately $100 million agreement, Lucent will provide all network equipment, software and arrange third-party equipment financing as well as place an equity investment in HSA. Huges initially plans to offer local and long distance telephony services using Lucnet’s CableConnect solution, which is DOCSIS compliant and enhanced to support services such as IP telephony over two way cable networks. The service is expected to support CLASS features such as call waiting and caller ID, and will be bundled with a turnkey solution that includes billing and operations software and network services in the future.
Last summer, HSA began testing DOCSIS-compliant cable IP telephony systems with Charter Communications in Georgia. The companies used Lucent’s PathStar system and Motorola’s CMTS to support the trial, with plans to eventually incorporate support for equipment from multiple vendors. As these trials have progressed, HSA has been developing a strategy to offer an end to end solution to other MSOs. In addition, it is also planning to team with Lucent to further develop IP telephony equipment and software for cable systems.
In related news, HSA is also planning to deploy Portal Software’s customer care and billing solution, Infranet, to provide billing and customer care support for its cable modem and VoIP services.
Infranet is an end to end customer management and billing solution that enables providers to develop Internet services that can support millions of users on a 24 x 7 basis. Its features include customer registration, caller authentication, credit limit verification, tracking of prepaid usage and account termination, LCR, and inter domain reconciliation and settlement capabilities.
High Speed Access
Scientific-Atlanta & Net2Phone Team for Cable VoIP
Scientific-Atlanta reported that it is teaming with Net2Phone to develop VoIP and unified messaging applications for its cable digital set-top boxes (Explorer) and interactive network. The firms are developing the products/services to enable broadband access users to place and receive VoIP calls, with call waiting and caller ID functionality, access email services, and provide a second line of communications via cable.
The companies plan to trial the equipment and services by the end of the year.
The Net2Phone technology can provide connectivity from PC to PC, PC to phone and PC to fax as well as unified messaging applications. Users can place calls to any telephone or PC in the world via Net2Phone’s network of POPs.
In other news, WorldSkip.com, an online source of news, information, products and services, is planning to integrate Net2Phone’s VoIP services and products into its web site.
IPVoice Secures $2.5 Million in Equity Financing
IPVoice.com said that it has secured $2.5 million in equity financing from an undisclosed source. The deal will consist of IPVoice selling a new series of Class B preferred stocks, which will include dividends, conversion and option features, as well as warrants for the purchase of common stock at a price still to be set. Until the agreement is finalized, IPVoice will receive a $500,000 bridge loan that the company’s Board Chairman will secure. The company plans to use the funding to support its sales, customer service and marketing initiatives, and to expand its VoIP network both in the U.S. and internationally.
The company recently launched an Internet telephony service based on its own high-density IP telephony system, SuperConnect, deployed in New York City and Los Angeles, with plans to expand the network into Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Miami and Phoenix underway. It offers three calling plans: Flat 5, a 5 CPM offering for all calls placed to markets in the continental U.S. and Canada, with international calls billed at existing rates; 4+4, a 4 CPM package for calls placed in the domestic U.S., and discount calling rates to four user selectable international destinations; and Flat25, a $25 flat rate service that allows users to place an unlimited amount of calls to select market, with calls ranging outside of covered areas billed at existing rates.
The provider uses its lower port density gateway, the TrueConnect, to offer a partnership program that enables providers to deploy the gateway to route traffic over its network. The TrueConnect VoIP gateway utilizes Natural MicroSystems’ Fusion technology to provide up to 96 ports per unit with T1, E1, ISDN, PBX, and analog connectivity. The product, which supports H.323 protocols including G.723, features order entry, billing, reporting, and customer service applications. Its data- management capabilities include debit card support, invoicing functions, credit card authorization (single or batches), customer A/R module, a suite of management reporting, PIN generation, DNIS/DID/IP configuration modules, and multi-lingual support.
Phonecalls to Deploy Satellite Based VoIP Service
Phonecalls.com, a Tianrong Internet Products and Services subsidiary, reported that it is planning to add satellite connectivity to its Internet telephony service to broaden the service’s accessibility in the Chinese market. The provider 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 the web site. The company is also developing relations with other VoIP providers, in which the other providers will both originate and terminate traffic for the service.
The firm recently began deploying Nuera Communications’ VoIP technologies at its New York City facility to develop interconnectivity between its operations in China and the U.S. as well as its partner provider’s networks.
The satellite technologies are expected to be operational by the end of the month.
Tianrong Internet Products and Services
ITXC Launches Super POP in London
ITXC announced that it has opened a Super PoP in London to enable European carriers to directly connect with its Internet telephony network. The POP supports C7 signaling and is already connected to many London carriers via local loop providers. ITXC routes other provider’s phone to phone and web to phone VoIP traffic over its global Internet telephony network, which has over 245 POPs in 145 cities and 59 countries. It can route VoIP traffic to any telephone in the world via the network, ITXC’s other affiliate provider’s networks, the public Internet or the PSTN. The company also implements its own patent pending BestValue Routing technology to control the quality of calls.
ITXC also has Super PoPs deployed in Los Angeles, Jersey City and New York City. The facilities house Internet telephony gear from Cisco, Clarent and VocalTec, as well as traditional circuit switched platforms from Excel/Lucent.
Phillips Group Releases WLAN Market Report
The Phillips Group said that it has just released a wireless LAN market report entitled, Wireless LANs: Market Demand and Opportunity Assessment. The research projects that the industry is expected to grow from $300 million in revenues last year to $1.7 billion by 2004. It explores the enterprise segment opportunities, and provides a market forecast through 2004 broken down by segments, with user profiles and case studies of select wireless LAN applications. It evaluates the role of VoIP over wireless LANs, and forecasts that IP telephony technologies will be the primary industry driver. It goes on to explore the risk/opportunity factors of the industry including regulatory issues and competing technologies, with an analysis of the emerging Bluetooth technology.
The research is currently available. Pricing was not disclosed.
Wireless LANs: Market Demand and Opportunity Assessment
The Phillips Group