IP Telephony News Wrap-up for Oct, 11 2004

1. Broadcom Introduces 802.11g VoWLAN Chipset Solution
Broadcom has introduced the BCM4318 and BCM1160, a chipset solution for the development of a wireless VoIP handset that will support voice and data applications (web browsing, email, and instant messaging) within a 802.11g Wi-Fi environment. The chips include integrated support for advanced security and QoS.

The BCM4318 Airforce One is a single chip, 54g transceiver consisting of a 2.4 GHz radio, a 802.11a/g baseband processor, and a MAC. The BCM1160 mobile VoIP processor is a single chip that consists of an ARM9 based CPU, an analog voice CODEC with a direct microphone and speaker interface, a 1.3 megapixel camera interface, a 262K color LCD display interface, and a USB interface.

The technology has been certified by the Wi-Fi Alliance to be compliant with WMM, WPA, and WPA2.

In connection with product launch, Broadcom is also offering the BCM91160 Wi-Fi VoIP SDK, a reference design for a Wi-Fi VoIP handset that includes VoIP software, a SIP call signaling stack, WLAN OneDriver, and a Linux OS based board support packing including all necessary drivers and software development tool chain.

The chipset will go for approximately $31 each in quantities of 1,000.

Broadcom is an AT&T development partner and the aforementioned technology has been designed to be compatible with the provider’s backbone VoIP network and service offerings.


3. AudioCodes Introduces SIP PCI Media Gateway Board
AudioCodes has introduced TP-260, a SIP PCI media gateway board designed for the development of media gateways and media servers. The board is offered in densities of 1, 2, 4 and 8 E1/T1s. The technology supports 240 independent voice, fax, or data media processing channels on a stand-alone single PCI slot. No PCI driver is needed.

The board supports ISDN PRI, and multiple CAS variants; VoIP streaming; multiple voice CODECs such as G.711, G.723.1, and G.729; G.168 2002 echo cancellation; real-time FoIP/T.38; and a wide selection of inbound and outbound tone detection and generation options. The technology also features web based management.

In a separate announcement, AudioCodes said Teles Communication Systems, a telecom vendor and systems integrator based in Germany, will employ the company’s TP-1610, a 16 E1/T1 cPCI VoIP communications board and the AC486, a device that functions as a T1 or E1 trunking gateway or a building block for high-density VoIP gateways. The boards will be used within Teles’ iSwitch family of products


Teles Communication Systems

5. AT&T and Broadvox Lower VoIP Service Fee
AT&T has announced that it lowered the rate of its CallVantage primary line VoIP service from $34.99 to $29.99 per month. The reduction, effective October 1, replaces the provider’s six month promotional offer that recently ended in most of the markets it serves. Some markets will still get the $19.99 per month six month offer until January.

Currently, CallVantage is available in more than 170 U.S. markets, passing 62% of U.S. households.

Broadvox, a smaller primary line VoIP service provider, has also lowered its rate from $29.95 per month to $19.95 per month.

Both service fee reductions apply to the providers’ respective VoIP service plans that allow for unlimited North American calling.

Consumers considering adoption of VoIP service should always investigate the fine print of any offering, as many providers charge for the terminal adapter, charge significant taxes and fees, charge service termination fees, charge high per minute fees for incoming calls or other fees not defined in advertising.



7. Global Advertising Releases Study of U.S. VoIP Providers
Global Advertising, a New York-based marketing and consulting firm, has released Last Mile VoIP Incites Marketing Rivalry, a detailed analysis of the market position of the top nine primary line VoIP service providers and their individual marketing strategies.

The firm finds the current leading service providers to be:

1. Vonage

2. Primus

3. 8×8

4. AT&T, Delta Three, and Time Warner (tied)

5. Cox and Net2Phone (tied)

6. Cablevision

As all of these studies suggest, Global projects that the incumbent telephone providers and MSOs will ultimately dominate the service provider market. Nevertheless, the firm recommends that startups build their brand, concentrate on the mass market, attract more on ethnic markets by creating more international bundles, and most importantly, establish an exit strategy.

Global recommends that the major telecom providers begin leading innovation, create more bundled options, establish international calling bundles for both B2C and B2B with competitive rates, and to segment the market into different target groups by Unique Characteristics of Consumers rather than by region.

For both major telcos and startups, Global suggests that service providers broaden their appeal by shifting focus to messages of value and differentiation and de-emphasizing the technology. The firm adds that providers should quit solely targeting young people and techies. However, Global does identify number portability to be an important feature for attracting new customers, especially students and young professionals that move often but want to keep their phone number.

The report goes for $2,795.

Global Advertising

9. Covad Expands IP PBX Services to 11 More Markets
Covad Communications has expanded its IP PBX offering to 11 more U.S. markets including Charlotte, Cincinnati, Columbus, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Milwaukee, Nashville, Pittsburg, St. Louis, St. Petersburg, and Tampa. The provider offers two different IP PBX solutions for SMBs.

Covad plans to offer its business VoIP services in 113 major metro U.S. markets by the end of the year.

Covad Communications

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