IP Telephony news wrap-up for Nov 20 – 2006

Motorola will acquire Netopia for $208 million through an agreement that calls for Motorola to pay $7 a share for the company’s stock. In VoIP, Netopia is a supplier of terminal adapters as well as a platform for provisioning and managing VoIP gear. The deal expected to close early next year.

Netopia also offers gateways and routers for IPTV, PoS, and Wi-Fi environments.

The acquisition agrement comes on the heels of Motorola’s announcement a week earlier that it would be acquiring Good Technology, the manufacturer of a hand-held communications device that competes with RIM’s Blackberry.

MetroFi and Microsoft have teamed together to build a Wi-Max network that will provide free Internet access in Portland. Microsoft will provide adCenter, a platform for embedding targeted, local ads into the platform. The service will be launched in Pioneer Courthouse Squared by the end of the year and then expanded to the rest of Portland within the next 2 years.

The announcement follows an effort by EarthLink and Google to establish a city-wide Wi-Max network in San Francisco.

If Wi-Max networks are going to cover most metro areas in the U.S. over the next 5 years, a huge opportunity will emerge in the consumer Vo-WiFi sector and cellular providers could be crushed. The intrusive level of the advertisements will certainly impact service adoption. NetZero’s Internet access service based purely on an ad model failed. However, even if free access doesn’t work, Wi-Max operators will have the infrastructure to move to a fee-based model, which will still be a threat to cellular service.

MetroFi service is currently being offered in the downtown area of Aurora, Illinois.

Pulvermedia will host VON Enterprise on December 4-6 at the Cobb Galleria Centre in Atlanta. The event will feature multiple sessions along with 16 exhibitor kiosks. In addition to Jeff Pulver, the sessions will feature more than speakers such as the VP of IT at the Georgia Aquarium; Kevin Fleming of Digium; Sandy Malcolm, excutive producer of cnn.com’s video; the CTO of Internet Security Systems; and the VP of IT at HomeBanc Mortgage.

VON Enterprise
GrandStream has introduced 2 new low density, FXS Analog gateways including the GXW4004 4-port model and the GXW4008 8-port model. The gateways feature caller ID, T.38 fax, 1 or 2 stage dialing, flexible dialing plans, SIPS/TLS security, and a series of voice CODECs including G.711 (a/u-law), G.723.1, G.726, G.728, G.729a/b/e, and iLBC.

The gateways will be available in December. The 4-port will go for $165 and the 8-port gateway will be $275.

GrandStream Networks
Intuitive Voice has introduced Evolution, an Asterisk-based IP PBX for small businesses. The system features auto-attendant; individual extensions and voicemail; ACR; Outlook integration; voicemail to email; on-hold music; auto-provisioning; and support for telecommuters. A 4-port version of Evolution is available for less than $1,500.

Intuitive Voice
Askey Computer is using Texas Instruments’ VoIP silicon and software in its latest generation of products including its VPD1120 IP phone, VGE1020 terminal adapter, and VG603 enterprise gateway.

Starent Networks has enhanced the software of its ST16 mobile gateway to include IMS elements such as a SIP proxy/registrar, a 3GPP/3GPP2 P-CSCF and a policy agent.

CML Microcircuits will develop ICs based on Spirit DSP’s proprietary low bit rate vocoder technology.

Air Products, a utility provider based in Singapore, is planning to launch VoIP services using AT&T’s hosted MPLS solution.

Askey Computer
Texas Instruments
Starent Networks
CML Microcircuits
Spirit DSP
Air Products

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