1. Hot Telecom to Launch VoCable in Israel
Hot Telecom, a consortium of cable operators in Israel (Golden Channels, Tevel, and Matav), has entered into a joint venture to launch VoCable services. The commercial services follow a test conducted among 200 households and 200 businesses. The group of cable operators expect to be profitable in 3 years and after 5 years, generate $100 million annually. In addition to the VoIP service, the trio will also be launching video on demand services. Investment in the $100 million VoCable venture was divided among the operators accordingly – Golden Channels: 41%; Tevel: 32%; and Matav: 27%.
Last summer, Lucent Worldwide Services and Bell Labs were awarded the contract for providing the network integration services via a 3-year deal valued at $35 million. Lucent was responsible for network design, engineering, deployment maintenance, and the integration of operations support and billing systems. Bell Labs was responsible for network planning, architecture, design, and analysis tools.
Lucent was also contracted to provide equipment from multiple vendors to develop the network. The supplier chose to deploy Kagoor’s VoiceFlow session border controllers, Hughes’ HSS Mediation for billing, and C-Cor’s Service Activation Manager for subscriber management. Other technology was provided by Lucent Alliance Partners Enterasys Networks and Sun Microsystems.
Based on license requirements by the Ministry of Communications in Israel, Hot Telecom must eventually launch traditional telephony services. However, the group may be able to operate offering VoIP alone for two or three years.
The Hot Telecom consortium provides cable and data services to around 1.3 million subscribers.
3. Globecomm & Afghan Telecom to Exchange VoIP Traffic
Globecomm Systems, a satellite network services provider, has entered into a one year agreement to exchange VoIP traffic with Afghan Telecom, providing international voice origination and termination services.
Globecomm is based in Hauppauge, New York.
Afghan Telecom (reference)
5. Frost & Sullivan Releases Study of Hosted IP Services Market
Frost and Sullivan has released European Hosted IP Telephony Services Market – A New Revenue Stream for Service Providers, a study that provides analysis and forecasts for Centrex IP, IP Centrex, hosted IP PBX, and Integrated Access. The analysis examines opportunities and inhibitors as well as providing recommendations for strategies. Breakdowns for some countries are also included.
The firm finds that revenue from hosted IP services in Europe will grow from EUR 45.80 in 2003 to EUR 1.23 billion in 2008, with a CAGR of 93.2%. IP Centex is expected to be the most popular service among the four due to feature parity with CPE solutions at a lower cost. IP Centrex is forecasted to generate EUR 689 million in 2008, accounting for 56% of the total market and 12.8% of total shipments in Europe.
The firm has identified the UK, Spain and Italy as emerging early adopters of hosted IP services.
7. 3WTel Launches PC to PC Service for Dialup Users
3WTel, an Ireland based service provider, has launched a PC to PC service that can operate over a dialup connection. Subscribers pre-pay for the service and may pay as little as $5 for credit good for a year. The softphone used with the service includes an interface with billing information visible.
Service features include voicemail, instant messaging, and the assignment of your own phone number.
3WTel hopes to gain a share of the VoIP market through its reseller program and via a joint venture with a U.S. television network, which will advertise the service.
9. Vonage Offering Linksys Wireless Router as CPE Option
Vonage, a primary line residential VoIP service provider, has extended its CPE options to include Linksys’ Wireless G Router. The router includes a wireless G access point; a built in 4 port switch to connect wired-Ethernet devices; a router function for sharing a broadband connection and 2 standard phone jacks. The router will soon be available from 7,000 retail stores in the U.S. (ie Best Buy, Radio Shack, Office Depot, and Staples).
In addition to a standard telephone adapter and the new wireless router, Vonage subscribers can opt for a 2 port phone adapter or a Linksys router with 2 phone ports.