ITSPs Taking Positions With and Against Telcos
Over the last two weeks, several IXCs and RBOCs have released announcements
indicating their strategies for participating in the IP telephony market
and preventing ITSPs from freely routing calls over their networks.
Though most ITSPs have been developing a legal position to keep from paying
fees to the traditional telcos, some ITSPs are finding that, in this highly
competitive market, it might be more advantageous to pony up the fees and
work jointly with the deep-pocketed telcos to grow their business.
Last week, MCI announced that it had partnered with Global Transmedia, an
ITSP, to accommodate both domestic and international traffic for the
provider. Bell Atlantic announced that it had teamed with ITXC to
terminate IP telephony traffic in the RBOC’s East Coast region.
Also in the news, US West announced that it would charge access fees to
ITSPs that routed calls over its network. The announcement followed a
report from the week prior that BellSouth planned to apply such fees. In
response to BellSouth, ICG Telecommunications has announced that it will
refuse to pay the RBOC for any access charges, claiming that FCC rules do
not require it to do so.
GT’s Cheap Talk
Delta three’s Unveils Online Customer Service Center for its IP Telephony Services
Delta Three has announced the addition of an Interactive Customer Service
section to its web site. The section will enable users to access account
information, and sign-up for service or pay bills online. The online
service center will also allow users to view CDR information based on user
defined parameters. For instance, business users can request that calls to
different clients be broken down in the form of a bar chart, or roommates
can have calls broken down in a pie chart.
SkyWave Unveils New Version of SkyGate Gateway
SkyWave has announced the availability of SkyGate 99, the latest version of
its IP telephony gateway. SkyGate 99 utilizes SS7 technologies to integrate
IP telephony into existing networks. The gateway provides support for
real-time fax or voice over IP capabilities. It houses a built-in SNMP
agent that allows remote access and monitoring of the gateway. The gateway
features TeleSoft’s SmartWorks CTOS Media Server to provide
interoperability with third party telephony hardware platforms, allowing a
user to mix and match hardware platforms, card sets, network protocols
(PSTN and IP) and switching buses from multiple vendors.
SkyGate 99 is currently available for Windows NT. It is priced at just
under $80,000 for a 96 port system. SkyWave plans to introduce UNIX and
Compact PCI versions next year.
Vsys Announces SS7 to PSTN Gatekeeper Software
Vsys has announced the availability of VSwitch, SS7/PSTN integrated
gatekeeper software. The product provides interfaces for both H.323 and SS7
protocols. It will support voice, data and fax solutions. Its architecture
will enable the implementation of billing and provisioning support,
customer care services as well as advanced Intelligent Network services
such as 800/888 and VPNs. The device will be able to provide end users
with 1+ dialing.
The VSwitch is interoperable with Dialogic’s DM3 IPLink gateways.
Science Dynamics Developing a VoIP Gateway with Optional Service Modules
Science Dynamics has announced that it is developing a VoIP gateway with
optional service modules based on its Integrator C-2300 Telephony Server
line of products. The product is expected to provide an SS7 interface for
PSTN connectivity and an H.323 interface to enable it to interoperate with
proprietary gateways and H.323 compliant IP telephony PC software clients.
The system will be capable of supporting from 30 to 1000s of voice or fax
Science Dynamics is also developing service modules to provide support for
management, billing and QoS.
Digitcom Teams With Providers to Offer IP Telephony in US, Egypt and Russia
Digitcom has announced that St. Petersburg National International Telephone
and Electrosvyaz (Rostov Region) have completed IP telephony service trials
using Digitcom’s IntraVoice CO Internet telephony gateways. Both providers
plan to launch the services in Russia on a commercial basis. Digitcom has
entered into a revenue-sharing agreement with the two providers.
In a separate announcement, Telecom Egypt has reported that it is planning
to team with Digitcom to market long distance IP telephony services between
Egypt and the US. The service will utilize Digitcom’s IntraVoice gateways.
TVS to Use Array Telecom’s Gateways for IP Network in Japan
Tokyo-based Telecommunications with Valuable Services (TVS) has announced
that it will use Array Telecom’s gateways to expand its IP network, TVSNET.
TVS plans to use the gateways to expand TVSNET from 36 Tokyo POPs to over
150 Japanese POPs.
Array Telecom expects to begin shipping its IP gateways this month.
TVSNET provides international long distance telephony and CTI-PBX solutions
to Japanese businesses, and ISPs.