Priceline Teams With Net2Phone, deltathree & ZeroPlus for Service
Priceline.com reported that it has teamed with Net2Phone, ZeroPlus.com and deltathree.com to launch a section at its web site, Priceline Long Distance, that enables users to bid for blocks of long distance calling time. The section will allow users to bid for blocks of calling time to any market in the world in increments of 60 minutes. Once the bid is accepted, the bidder will be provided with a PIN that will need to be entered before the destination phone number to access the accepting provider’s network to place calls. All providers that participate in the offering, will pay Priceline a participation fee in addition to a percentage of revenues generated from calls.
Net2Phone offers connectivity between PCs, phones, web sites and facsimile machines or any combination thereof. It can route calls to any telephone or PC in the world via its network of POPs. The company negotiated the deal with Priceline late last year, and thus is the primary provider.
deltathree’s communications services also include VoIP connectivity between phones, PCs and web sites or any combination thereof, as well as eCommerce, unified messaging, global roaming and calling cards. It routes calls over its private, managed Internet telephony network, which uses the PSTN to both terminate and originate call traffic and has 70 POPs throughout 36 countries. The network combined with its affiliate provider’s networks, enable the company’s over 1.7 million subscribers to place Internet telephony calls to over 160 countries.
ZeroPlus provides connectivity from PC to PC, PC to phone, phone to PC and phone to phone. It has recently teamed with Broadwing Communications to collocate equipment throughout Broadwing’s infrastructure to expand the reach of its services globally. The service can also be configured to provide connectivity with toll free access numbers.
Firstnet Telephony to Offer IPVoice’s Services in the UK
IPVoice.com has announced that UK based Firstnet Telephony Limited has joined its partner provider program and is in the process of developing local, international and mobile calling services. Firstnet has already deployed IPVoice’s SuperConnect gateway in London to interconnect its UK network with IPVoice’s networks. The provider is also currently negotiating service interconnect deals with other VoIP providers in various international markets.
IPVoice’s partnership program enables other providers to deploy its SuperConnect or TrueConnect gateway technologies to operate independent VoIP services that can provide connectivity via its existing its network of Internet telephony gateways. The SuperConnect can support up to 1000 ports of simultaneous voice or real time facsimile transmissions, with H.323 and SS7 signaling capabilities. The TrueConnect VoIP gateway can provide up to 96 ports per unit with T1, E1, ISDN, PBX, and analog connectivity via H.323 protocols. Both units also provide real time provisioning, billing, customer service and agent management capabilities via IPVoice’s proprietary software technologies.
IPVoice 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 markets, with calls ranging outside of covered areas billed at existing rates.
In other news, IPVoice.com has announced that it has finalized a $2.5 million venture capital equity financing deal with the Augustine Fund and the Schaar Fund. Details were not disclosed. The provider 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.
Firstnet Telephony Limited
Lycos to Offer Access Power’s PC to Phone VoIP Service
Access Power has announced that that it has expanded an agreement with Lycos to include Lycos offering its PC to phone VoIP service, Net.Caller, on its local language compliant web portal’s in Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. Lycos initially offered the service via web portals in the UK and Ireland.
The flat rate Net.Caller service enables users to download a client application to place an unlimited amount of calls from any PC in the world to traditional phones in select markets. Access Power offers two calling plans for the service: a European plan that allows users to place an unlimited amount of calls for $20 per month from any PC to any phone in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK, and the U.S. (including Alaska and Hawaii), Canada and Puerto Rico; and a U.S. plan that allows users to placed an unlimited amount of calls from any PC in the world to a phone in the U.S., Puerto Rico or Canada for $10. It also offers an unlimited calling phone to phone IP telephony service in the continental U.S. for $49 per month.
TriGem to Deploy eFusion’s VoIP eCommerce Technology
TriGem Infocomm has announced that it is planning to deploy eFusion’s Push to Talk (PTT) VoIP eCommerce technology to offer Internet commerce solutions to its Korean based customers. The PTT system enables web site visitors to initiate communications with call center agents by clicking a call icon on a web site. When the consumer clicks the icon, the system will connect the consumer with a CSR without disrupting the existing Internet connection. Once connected, the CSR can direct the consumer to web pages and discuss business transactions.
TriGem plans to introduce the service this summer.
Rapid Link Teams with KPN/Qwest for Service
Rapid Link Communications reported that it is planning to use the KPN/Qwest entity’s IP backbone to route traffic (IP data, fax, voice) between its POPs in Frankfurt and Prague, and expand its services throughout Europe. Rapid Link recently expanded its IP network to include the Prague operation. It intends to utilize the Prague location, to offer wholesale access to its global VoIP network and termination services in the Czech Republic. The company uses Clarent’s VoIP equipment and traditional circuit switches to route traffic over its international network, which has 50 POPs throughout select Asian, Eastern European and U.S. markets including Atlanta, Frankfurt, Kuala Lumpur, Los Angeles, Mannheim, New York, Okinawa, Prague, San Diego, Seoul and Tokyo.
The KPN/Qwest entity recently reached and agreement with Cyberfast Systems in which the companies plan to install Cisco’s VoIP gateways in six interconnected European fiber ring networks that KPN/Qwest are in the process of deploying. The firms initially plan to offer VoIP connectivity in and between London, Paris, Amsterdam, Frankfort and Brussels, with plans to deploy the VoIP equipment in at least 46 European markets within the next two years.
KPN also recently began deploying Clarent’s VoIP equipment to build an international IP telephony network. The provider intends to use the network to offer a wholesale service that will route traffic from the Netherlands to other select global markets. In addition, it is currently negotiating minute exchange deals with several Clarent equipment based providers.
EmpowerTel & LG Soft India to Form Entity to Develop Products
EmpowerTel Networks reported that it has signed an MoU with LG Soft India to form a new entity, LG EmpowerTel, that will focus on providing end to end VoIP solutions. According to the terms of the MoU, the new entity will offer solutions based on the combination of both companies respective technologies, and further develop EmpowerTel’s USX1000 VoIP switch. The new firm will also deploy a next generation network R&D lab in Bangledore, which both parent firms will fund with a US$2 million investment. The lab will be used to develop core software as well as other various products, and to integrate LG’s Class 4/5 switches, IP-PBX, VoIP routers, VoIP IADs and IP phone technologies into the USX1000 product. It is expected to be in operation by July.
Earlier this year, Lara Technology created EmpowerTel Networks to focus on further developing its own VoIP systems.
LG Soft India Pvt.
Smith Micro Introduces Wireless Fax Product
Smith Micro Software’s Wireless & Broadband Division has announced the introduction of QuickLink Fax 2000, its wireless software program that can support facsimile transmission via wireless technologies. The technology, which installs on a laptop PC, uses a digital cell phone as the modem to both send and receive documents. Users will need to plug the cell phone into the laptop, dial the recipient fax number from the application on the laptop, which will then automatically transmit the fax as soon as the wireless connection is made.
The product is currently available. Pricing was not disclosed. The vendor is primarily offering the technology to OEM cell phone and accessory manufacturers, as well as providers.
Smith Micro Software
CompUSA to Distribute Net2Phone’s VoIP Equipment
CompUSA reported that it is planning to distribute Net2Phone’s line of YAP (Your Alternative Phone) Internet telephony products from its retail outlets throughout the U.S. The YAP line consists of hardware devices (YAP Phone, YAP USB Hotline, YAP ISA Hotline, YAP Jack, YAP Multimax and YAP Headset) that enable users to place calls over Net2Phone’s VoIP network.
All of the devices will ship with free calling minutes. Pricing was not disclosed.
In related news, Net2Phone plans to develop similar YAP products for connectivity via DSL and Cable technologies. Products are slated to be available by the end of the year.