IP Telephony news wrap-up for Sep 18 – 2006

Global Crossing has expanded and enhanced elements of its VoIP service portfolio. The provider has added audio-conferencing to enterprise users of its Outbound & Voice VPN services, added a peering service to its VoIP Outbound Service, and extended its Outbound Service to 14 countries. The company has also become an Avaya reseller.

The newly added countries to VoIP Outbound include Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Czech Republic, Chile, Hong Kong, Singapore, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Poland, Portugal, and Slovakia. Service was already being offered in the U.S., Canada, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the U.K.

Global Crossing
Truphone has introduced free, beta, SIP-based VoIP software that enables VoIP calling for Wi-Fi enabled Nokia E-Series mobile phones. The software can be downloaded by sending a SMS to a designated number. Provisioning and installation are automatic. The software employs the AMR CODEC for call quality and a low level CODEC to minimize battery usage.

Separately, ROK Mobile has introduced a similar product, ROK Viper, free software that connects select models of Nokia phones wirelessly to broadband via Bluetooth on a user’s handset and computer. Calls are placed over the Internet rather than a mobile network.

ROK’s software requires Bluetooth enabled Nokia phones while Truphone’s software requires Wi-Fi enabled Nokia phones. ROK supports presence, but both companies have announced plans for rolling out a full set of features over the next few months.

Both suppliers offer free software and free calling between in-network subscribers, with revenue made from calls to out of network parties.

ROK Mobile
AT&T has launched a new PC to PC and PC to phone service that is available as an add-on to the company’s CallVantage primary line consumer VoIP service or as a stand-alone offering. By itself, the PC to x service is offered via 2 plans: one that provides subs 300 minutes of calling per month for $10.99 and a second that offers unlimited North American calling for $19.99 per month. CallVantage subscribers get $5 off a month on the standard plan rates.

Features of the service include caller ID, call waiting, voicemail, call logs, do not disturb, and locate me.

The provider is using CounterPath’s softphone.

Pactolus Communications has introduced SIPKit, a prepaid solution consisting of a calling card application, application server software, a media server, an integrated database and web server software – all running on a Linux server.

The solution features web-based subscriber creation and account management, database PIN number creation and authentication, a real-time rating engine and self contained billing and reporting, reseller management and service branding capabilities, and support with prompts in 13 languages.

Pactolus Communications
Adaptive Digital, a developer of DSP algorithms that work with TI’s hardware, is offering free downloads of a demonstration version of G.PAK, enabling anyone to custom develop a DSP application.

G.Pak supports G.711, G.723, G.729, G.168, tone detection, tone generation, VAD/CNG, AGC, tone relay, G.728, conferencing, and T.38. The software also includes a Windows-based configuration utility.

The reference design is based on TI’s TMS320C64x DSP generation or DM64x DSP-based digital media processors. The demo runs on TI’s DSK or EVM.

G.Pak can be used to develop software for driving VoIP gateways, PBXs or access devices.

Adaptive Digital
XConnect, a peering service provider has acquired IPeerX, a peering service provider operated by Jeff Pulver. IPeerX provides services to more than 130 providers and operates an ENUM registry with more than 4 million end-users.

XConnect acquired Germany-based e164.info last May.

Currently, the company has nearly 300 service providers from 30 countries in its network.

The MultiService Forum (MSF) has published Release 3 Architecture, the group’s latest specification describing the physical implementations of IMS devices, PSTN internetworking, and the evolution to an IMS network. The latest releases refines the definition of key elements in the previous release such as the SBC as well as introduces a new class of user terminal, the IMS-aware SIP UA.

The MSF will demonstrate the technology in action at GMI 2006, an event to be held Oct 16-27 at a series of research facilities. The event will focus on provisioning of VPNs, provisioning of value added services, fault management, and of course, interoperability.

Several carriers affiliated with MSF (BT, KT, & NTT) have hosted meetings open to the community to explain the technology and the upcoming demo. Verizon will be holding its meeting tomorrow in Waltham, MA.

MSF vendor participants include Acme Packet, Cisco Systems, CommuniGate Systems, Empirix
Ericsson, ETRI, Huawei Technologies, IP Unity, Leapstone Systems, Lucent Technologies, MetaSwitch, Mitsubishi Electric, MRV Communications, NCS, NEC, Newport Networks, NexTone Communications, Nortel, Operax, Samsung, Siemens, Softfront, Sonus Networks, Spirent Communications, Starent Networks, Tekelec and ZTE.

MSF Forum
Global IP Sound (GIPS) has released version 2.0 of iSAC, an adaptive VoIP CODEC that is part of the company’s SoundWare voice processing software suite. The technology delivers wideband audio quality in both low and high bit rate applications. Unlike earlier releases, the latest version of the CODEC is designed for use in hardware devices such as IP phones.

iSAC automatically adjusts transmission rates, supporting real-time multimedia, conferencing, distance learning, multi-user game applications and is a component in providing sound quality in VoIP environments that exceeds PSTN audio. The CODEC also handles music and background noise.

GIPS has said TI will use the newly introduced technology.

Global IP Sound
JDSU has introduced QT-50, a software agent that runs on the company’s two operating support systems to provide on-demand testing and performance management to ensure QoS in enterprise VoIP environments. The new member of the NetComplete Service Assurance VoIP portfolio, monitors and troubleshoots issues and evaluates metrics such as MOS, R-factor, jitter, packet loss, and packet statistics.

The QT-50 places and receives active test calls between other software agents and JDSU’s QT probes deployed across a providerís network. By creating meshes of synthetic VoIP calls throughout the network, it identifies potential degradations end-to-end for continuous and active monitoring of VoIP quality.

Vonage has issued letters, demanding money, to a set of customers that refused to pay the company for stock shares they agreed to purchase before the company went public. The recipients will not be receiving any stock in return for their payment.

According to Vonage, about 1 million shares of the company’s stock were sold to customers that didn’t pay – all backing out after the stock price dipped over 50% in the first month of trading.

Many customers that did pay went on the offensive early by joining one of the dozens of class action lawsuits filed against Vonage for improperly offering its stock.

Vonage has had to compensate underwriters for losses incurred if customers defaulted on their pre-IPO agreements to buy stock.

The stock is currently trading for around $7.25 a share.

The DSL Forum has introduced the BroadbandSuite Initiative, a new access and management platform responsive to devices beyond the customer gateway as well as the distribution network. The effort is expected to minimize provisioning and maintenace issues for service and application providers.

BroadbandSuite now consists of three different areas including broadband control, broadband access, and broadband home.

Broadband Control will create a programmable control layer that unifies management of network elements and devices, enabling service providers to deliver personalized services. Broadband Access will provide specs for broadband agnostic access network architectures, evolving from ATM to Ethernet based aggregation. With Ethernet, service providers will be able to more easily support high-bandwidth apps such as IPTV, video on demand and video conferencing. Broadband Home will establish a common set of capabilities for networked devices and automate device activation and configuration.

DSL Forum

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