Consortium Formed to Promote Standardization of PSTN & Internet Connectivity
A group of telecommunications companies are forming an organization, dubbed
the International Softswitch Consortium, to standardize the technology used
to interconnect the PSTN with the Internet for voice communications. The
alliance, which is a non-profit group, will promote open standards and
protocols, and new application development for a distributed set of
hardware and software platforms that operate by distributing functions
currently performed by digital circuit switches (softswitches). Member
benefits will include access to an interoperability test lab and
information regarding specification developments across multiple
interfaces, early access use of reference software implementations, and
discounted attendance at developers’ conferences and interoperability events.
Founding members include Cisco, Enron, Hewlett-Packard, Level 3, Lucent,
Nortel Networks, NorthPoint Communications, pulver.com, Rhythms
NetConnections, and Telcordia Technologies (formerly Bellcore).
The Softswitch Consortium
BT to Deploy Nortel Gear to Build Largest Capacity VoIP Network in the World
BT has said that its Spanish subsidiary is planning to use Nortel Networks’
equipment to build a commercial Internet telephony network in Spain that
will have more capacity than any other IP network in the world. The company
initially plans to build 12 service nodes over the next year, and then
expand the network to include 27 additional service nodes over the next
The VoIP service offerings are not expected to be operational until at
least next year.
netgenie to Offer IPVoice’s Flat Rate, Unlimited VoIP Services in the U.S.
IPVoice.com has announced that netgenie.com, a U.S. domestic ISP, joined
its partner provider program, and will deploy its TrueConnect IP telephony
gateways in Dallas, Denver, Los Angeles, Miami, New York and San Francisco
to begin offering an unlimited phone to phone VoIP service for $25 per
month. The partner provider program will also enable netgenie.com to route
traffic over the IPVoice’s existing network of TrueConnect gateway POPs in
Los Angeles, New York, Panama, Nicaragua, the Honduras, Hong Kong and
Spain. IPVoice will use its own proprietary technology to provide billing
and settlement services.
The TrueConnect VoIP gateway utilizes Natural MicroSystems’ Fusion
technology to provide up to 96-ports per gateway 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.
Netgenie.com offers free Internet access in over 2200 U.S. markets.
Tribal Voice to Offer Delta Three VoIP Services
Tribal Voice has announced that Delta Three will exclusively provide IP
telephony services to users of its PowWow Internet community. Tribal Voice
has placed hyperlinks to Delta Three’s products and services throughout its
Internet community to enable users to place calls from a PC to another PC
or to a traditional telephone.
Enron to Build DS-2 IP Network Across U.S.
Enron Communications said that it is using Cisco’s equipment to build a
DS-2 fiber-optic network, known as the Intelligent Network, across the U.S.
(from Washington DC to San Francisco/San Jose) to provide carriers with
backup capacity for the routing of multimedia services including V/FoIP.
Carriers will be able to access capacity and route information via the
company’s web site, and secure a bandwidth transaction in seconds. The
company is also planning to allow other carriers to post capacity prices on
the site to enable it to launch a bandwidth capacity marketplace for the
interconnection of networks.
IDC Report Claims a Decreasing Demand for 2nd Phone Line
IDC has just released a report entitled, Online Users, Look Who’s Calling:
Internet Call Waiting Services, 1998-2003, that indicates that by the end
of 2000, at least 26 percent of worldwide households will be using Internet
call waiting services to eliminate the need for a second telephone line.
The report goes on to forecast that the percentage of Internet call waiting
users will increase to 43 percent by 2003. It then describes the different
types of Internet call waiting technologies and offerings, and examines the
current trials and deployment plans of developers and service providers.
The report goes for US$1,000.
Online Users, Look Who’s Calling: Internet Call Waiting Services, 1998-2003
Aplio to Develop VoIP Device For Linux
Aplio said that it is planning to develop an Internet telephony client
device for the Linux operating system. The company expects that Linux’s
open source architecture and short porting times will enable it to develop
an enhanced Internet telephony client product that OEM manufacturers will
be able to more easily integrate into products.
The H.323 compliant Aplio/Phone is currently available as a stand-alone
product or as an addition to Windows environments. It houses a 32-bit
microprocessor, a dedicated DSP chip for G.723.1 voice
compression/decompression and a modem chip. The product sits between a
standard phone jack and a phone device to enable users to dial a six-digit
Aplio ID number to automatically connect with any other user via the
company’s IP address finder. In addition, the device can save two ISP’s
numbers to give users a choice of ISPs depending on the call origination
The line of Linux based Aplio products is expected to be available this
Castelle Integrates Access to Fax2Net’s FoIP Network Into Fax Server
Castelle said that it is integrating access to Fax2Net’s global Internet
messaging service into its FaxPress line of Internet fax servers to enable
users to send facsimiles to any traditional fax machine or FaxPress user
anywhere in the world.
The Windows NT or Novell compliant fax server can support from 1 to 8 fax
lines per unit. It integrates with most email programs, and Microsoft Word
and Office, and Lotus SmartSuite applications to enable users to send and
receive documents directly from a PC. Interoperability with the Fax2Net
network will expand the product’s capabilities to include email to fax, web
to fax, and fax to Internet messaging applications. The Fax2Net service
will also enable users to manage and track all fax documents sent, in real
The Fax2Net IP network has operational POPs throughout 40 countries.
RateXchange Launches Current & Future Telecom Minutes Pricing Indices
RateXchange has said that it has added a section to its web site that
features current price and future pricing trend estimates for U.S. outbound
telecommunications minutes and routes. The pricing indices, which were
co-developed with telecommunications consulting firm, Oncept, are based on
actual sales data from RateXchange’s online telecommunications capacity
exchange. Both indices, as well as additional telcom market data and the
online bandwidth exchange service are available at the company’s web site.
Transco Offers VoIP Minute Brokerage from Web Site
Transco Research said that it is planning to launch wholesale
telecommunications services for both traditional and IP telephony carriers
via its web site. The site will feature a virtual trading center that will
enable other carriers to buy and sell bandwidth and VoIP originating and
terminating capacity. It will also enable users to gain access to Transco’s
current prices for route capacity, and allow them to instantly secure a
capacity deal to route minutes across Transco’s network.
Last month, the company said it was building a VoIP network, and offering
wholesale domestic and international long distance Internet telephony from
its facilities in the New York and Miami markets. The provider is upgrading
its network to support IP telephony communications.