IP Telephony News Wrap-up for Oct, 02 2000

NetVoice to Deploy NetSpeak’s VoIP Technologies
NetVoice Technologies reported that it is planning to deploy NetSpeak’s iTEL VoIP technologies to provide a centralized network routing and management system for its entire private VoIP network. The deal is valued at approximately $1 million.

The iTEL solutions consist of gatekeeper and route server technologies, as well as value added solutions such as the Voice VPN, Internet call waiting, call screening, PC to phone and eCommerce systems. Both the iTEL gatekeeper and route server support H.323 v2, SIP and MGCP technologies. The gatekeeper can handle more than 100 calls per second, with authentication, authorization and accounting functionality. The solution can be scaled to handle thousands of E1/T1 ports by adding additional equipment. It also has the failover capability to reroute traffic to another unit. The route server manages specific resources of a network. It offloads network control functions such as managing network resources and determining route priorities from the gatekeeper, and it provides least cost routing, percentage based routing, quality based routing and time of day routing capabilities.

NetVoice has NetSpeak’s, Cisco’s and/or Inter-Tel’s VoIP equipment deployed at POPs in 34 markets throughout Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Washington DC and Wisconsin. It expands its network/services reach by collocating servers throughout both Level 3’s and Global Crossing’s backbones, and interconnecting the network with Inter-Tel’s U.S. domestic VoIP network. In addition, it is planning to expand the network into an additional 16 markets by the end of the year.

In other news, NetVoice Technologies said that it has reached an agreement with Advanced Radio Telecom (ART), in which it will use ART’s broadband wireless infrastructure to support its services in select U.S. metropolitan markets. ART leverages its broadband fixed wireless networks to offer last mile connectivity to other providers. Its point-to-consecutive-point network ring design can provide speeds of up to 100 Mbps, as well as access to dedicated OC-3 connectivity with speeds up to 155 Mbps. It currently operates networks in several U.S. metropolitan markets including Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Diego, San Jose, Seattle and Washington DC, with plans to expand the offering into an additional 4 markets by year’s end, with additional plans to launch services in at least 40 U.S. metropolitan markets over the next two years.


NetVoice Technologies

Advanced Radio Telecom

Cisco to Acquire Vovida and IPCell for Approximately $369 Million
Cisco has announced that it has entered into definitive agreements to acquire both privately held Vovida Networks and privately held IPCell Technologies. According to the terms of the all stock transactions, Cisco will trade approximately $369 million in common stock for all outstanding shares and options of both Vovida and IPCell combined. Cisco currently has a 20.5 percent minority interest in Vovida and 17.2 percent interest in IPCell. All company’s BODs have already approved the acquisitions, which are expected to be finalized by next summer.

Cisco intends to integrate both Vovida’s and IPCell’s technologies into its IOS software and voice gateways to develop solutions that can support and/or accelerate the development of combined voice, video and data services.


Vovida Networks


Motorola Introduces Gatekeeper Solution
Motorola’s Multiservice Networks Division (MND), has announced the introduction of its Vanguard Gatekeeper solution, which will enable users to add enhanced voice services to existing IP network instructures. The solution, which is based on NetSpeak’s iTEL architecture, is a software-based H.323 compliant gatekeeper that can provide phone number to IP address resolution, bandwidth management, user authorization, and policy management capabilities for VoIP network operators. It can support enhanced voice solutions including pre and post paid phone to phone, PC to phone, Internet call waiting, call screening and voice eCommerce. It can also track the usage of enhanced services and generate accounting records. In addition, the product can manage a variety of network/service information such as service alarms, CDRs, and other data in an SQL database to generate reports using third party software. The systems is expected to be available next month. Pricing begin at $76,000.

Motorola’s Multiservice Networks Division


ipVerse to Integrate XACCT’s CC&B Technology
ipVerse said that it is has reached an agreement with XACCT, in which the vendors will combine ipVerse’s IP telephony softswitch based technology, ControlSwitch, with XACCT’s customer care and billing solution, XACCTusage, to offer a solution that will support services with integrated billing capabilities.

The multi-protocol ControlSwitch call control system provides interoperability via SS7, MGCP, H.323, IPDC, SIP and ISDN-PRI signaling. It can support voice/data traffic exchange within or between provider’s networks, and it can support more than one million busy hour call attempts. In addition, it employs web based tools and an XML language to allow users to develop services without interrupting existing services.

XACCTusage enables providers to define the exact IP session information that would like to be captured from IP services such as WAP, file transfer, VoIP, video, etc. It collects usage transaction details, in real-time, from a range of network elements and application servers and performs policy-based filtering, aggregation and merging to produce records similar to CDRs. It can also create usage-based bills via an array of parameters.



Openet Telecom and TeleKnowledge Team for Billing Solution
Openet Telecom said that it is teaming with TeleKnowledge to develop convergent billing solutions for data and voice services. According to the terms of the deal, Openet Telecom will integrate TeleKnowledge’s billing software, Total-e, into its FusionWorks platform to develop the solution to support consolidation, mediation, filtering, rating and billing for a variety of services. The firms will also participate in co marketing activities.

Earlier this year, TeleKnowledge integrated XACCT Technologies’ IP based customer care and billing solution, XACCTusage, into the Total-e billing solution to develop a CC&B solution that enables users to create customized billing models for services such as VPN, IP fax, IP telephony and streaming multimedia.


Openet Telecom


DataVoN to Trial Nortel Networks’ VoIP Solutions
DataVoN has announced that it has deployed Nortel Network’s Succession Communications Server model 3000 and Passport Packet Voice Gateways to trial next gen voice, video and data services. Earlier in the year, the provider began developing VoIP operations in 13 markets throughout California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Texas, Maryland and Washington DC. Its networks currently carry approximately 156 million minutes of traffic per month, and it is planning to expand the services into an additional 40 U.S. markets by the end of the year. In addition, the company recently reached an agreement with Broadwing Communications, in which it is using capacity on Broadwing’s networks to expand the connectivity of the VoIP services that it is developing.


Nortel Networks

Broadwing Communications

First Capital To Develop VoIP Operations in Europe
First Capital International, an Internet Holding company, reported that it is evaluating the feasibility of developing VoIP operations in select central and eastern European markets. The firm intends to compete its market research, and most likely begin negotiates with VoIP vendors for the development of infrastructure, and with other operators to fully develop the service’s reach. Initially, the company’s Estonia based ISP subsidiary, Anet Eesti, will begin developing the offering.

First Capital International

Anet Eesti

Prime and Bechtel to Deploy Nx Networks’ VoIP Technologies
Nx Networks reported that both Prime Communications Technology and Bechtel Telecommunications are planning to deploy its VoIP technologies. According to the terms of the approximately $2 million agreement with Prime, the provider intends to deploy Nx’s converged communications products and solutions to expand existing local and regional optical networks in the Middle East and Eastern Europe and develop IP telephony functionality. The firms plan to develop the system to support in excess of 100 million minutes per month, with initial network construction expected to begin later this year. In the deal with Bechtel, the companies intend to examine the feasibility of developing several offerings including softswitch based VoIP and wholesale services. Bechtel initially intends to deploy Nx’s technologies in a trial network that will connect its offices in Singapore, Chile and San Francisco.

Bechtel Telecommunications

Nx Networks

Mapletree Secures $15 Million in Financing
Mapletree Networks announced that it has secured $15 million in venture financing from Pilot House Ventures, Norwest Venture Partners, Technology Venture Partners L.P. and Boston University’s Community Technology Fund. The vendor intends to use the financing to expand its marketing and sales initiatives for its UniPorte technologies, and to accelerate the development of a next gen access solution.

Mapletree Networks

Tolly Research Results
Tests identify role for VoIP encoders: Encoders supporting G.728 and G.729 deliver adequate voice quality for business applications that use compressed voice

By Charles Bruno, Executive Editor, Tolly Research

Recent tests reveal that a pair of voice encoders used for IP telephony deliver acceptable voice quality for business applications and can support up to eight times more calls than an encoder used for uncompressed voice.

Researchers examined an implementation of the standards-based G.728 and G.729 vocoders using Lucent Technologies’ Voice over IP gateway products. G.728 is an ITU-T Recommendation that uses the Low-Delay Code-Excited Linear Prediction (LD-CELP) algorithm to encode voice signals at 16 kbps. G.729 is an ITU-T Recommendation that uses the Conjugate-Structure Algebraic Code-Excited Linear Prediction (CS-ACELP) algorithm to encode voice signals at 8 kbps.

Voice quality was quantified objectively using the Perceptual Speech Quality Measure (PSQM), which provides, according to the ITU-T, the most accurate estimate of the subjective quality of coded speech (ITU-T Recommendation P.861).

Voice-quality measurements were conducted for two different signaling methods, Integrated Services Digital Network ISDN) Primary Rate Interface (PRI) and T1 robbed-bit, to determine the impact on perceived voice quality. ISDN PRI uses a single out-of-band common channel for signaling separate information channels. In contrast, T1 robbed-bit signaling uses selective in-band bits to provide signaling, thereby reducing the 64-kbps bandwidth available for voice to 56 kbps. Each of these signaling methods was tested in combination with the two vocoders we examined.

Engineers determined that the voice quality delivered by G.728 and G.729 is audibly different than that delivered by a G.711 vocoder, although it is still acceptable for business use. Moreover, tests show that the 8-bit G.729 vocoder delivers twice as many calls as its G.728 counterpart and eight times as many calls as a G.711 vocoder previously tested.

Testing also revealed minor differences in voice quality between the use of Common Channel Signaling versus robbed-bit signaling.

Consequently, Tolly Research recommends use of Common Channel Signaling since it only requires 64 kbps of available bandwidth as compared to the 192 kbps required by T1 robbed-bit signaling.

For more information on this and other IP Telephony issues, visit Tolly’s web site.

Tolly Resarch

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