FCC Outlines its Position Against Regulating Internet Telephony
William Kennard, the FCC Chairman, recently summarized the FCC’s posture against regulating Internet telephony services. The Chairman outlined the administration’s hesitance to levy legacy telecommunications regulations on the nascent Internet telephony industry, and encouraged/recommended that the industry develop services that are accessible to the markets covered by universal service regulation fees such as the poor, those in remote locations and the inner city kids, as well as for users with disabilities.
Chairman William Kennard’s Remarks
Orbit Canada to Deploy Clarent’s Technologies
Orbit Canada said that it is planning to deploy Clarent’s technologies to develop infrastructure and support for a variety of voice and data services. Initially, the provider intends to deploy the equipment in select markets throughout Calgary, Edmonton, Hamilton, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Vancouver and Winnipeg, to offer a service bundle that will include fast Internet access and long distance IP telephony services.
The service is slated to be launched sometime next month, with plans to expand the offering into an additional 7 markets by the end of the year.
In other news, Clarent has reported the introduction of Clarent Connect 2.0, its third generation clearinghouse solution. The solution is expected to provide increased port capacities, and support for various network topologies, directly interconnection to other clearinghouse networks, and billing, settlement, roaming and enhanced services.
The solution is scheduled to be available sometime this fall. Pricing was not disclosed.
Twenty-Two Web Sites to Integrate Paltalk’s VoIP Software
Paltalk has announced that it has licensed its flagship PC to PC VoIP software to 22 web sites operators including Goosehead, FutureFone, Go4Freebies, Ritech Internet, Macromatic SC, Superwave Distribution, The Freeware Network, Go4Freebies, Nationwide Consultants, Shiloh, Nari, Apogee, Agape, Lifes4Living, Australian Community News, Belehalo, SeeYouOnline, ChatMaster, RollerHockeyCentral, Barkada, Tvejo! and MeetMeUSA. Financial details were not disclosed. All of the Internet companies intend to integrate the software into their respective sites to enable visitors to communicate from PC to PC via voice and video.
Paltalk’s client features support for group conferencing (up to 100 simultaneous users), private voice chats (one on one), video support, voice mail, text chat and file transfer. It is under 400 KB in size, and requires that users have a Windows 95/98/NT4/2000 Pentium 120 MHz based system, with 16MB RAM at least a 28.8 kbps Internet connection, a PC cam (for video) and a full duplex sound card. In addition, it has recently integrated access to deltathree’s Internet telephony network into the product to develop PC to phone connectivity.
Winncom Introduces Wireless PCs With VoIP Capabilities
Winncom Technologies, an Antennas America subsidiary, has announced the introduction of the WaveConnect, its line of PCs and notebook computers designed to support wireless connectivity. The products ship with either Pentium or Celeron processors, a build in 11 Mbps 802.11b wireless network interface to access corporate LANs and WANs, and an integrated H.323 compliant VoIP client application for telephony.
The products are currently available. Pricing was not disclosed.
Earlier this month, Winncom also reported that it has reached an agreement with Lucid, in which it is distributing Lucid’s VoIP broadband access solutions. Winncom Technologies
Clarent Teams with Performance and Comverse to Develop Solutions
Clarent reported that it is teaming with Performance Technologies and Comverse Network Systems to develop IP telephony solutions and services. In the deal with Performance, Clarent intends to integrate a variety of Performance’s hardware and software components, such as the MicroLegend SS7/IP gateways, CPC380 Quad T1/E1 I/O communications controllers and CPC4400 embedded IP Ethernet switching technologies, into its array of IP telephony offerings. The combined solutions are scheduled to be available early next year. In the Comverse agreement, the firms plan to develop carrier grade voice, data and fax platforms for both wireless and wireline infrastructures based on Clarent’s IP telephony software combined with Comverse’s enhanced services platform. The system is expected to support a variety of capabilities including IP telephony-based unified messaging, voice and data message delivery and notification, personal call management, number portability and network-based IVR.
Comverse Network Systems
BroadSoft Develops IP Centrex Solution to Interoperate With Cisco
BroadSoft said that it has configured its BroadWorks IP Centrex solution to interoperate with Cisco’s voice gateways and SIP phones to provide a turnkey VoIP enabled Centrex system. The BroadWorks system supports IP Centrex services such as conferencing, call waiting, call forward, auto attendant, voice mail, selective call forward, etc. It can be used to develop an array of service capabilities, while the Cisco gear will be used to facilitate and support the delivery of services.
In related news, ITL Metro, the CLEC operating division of International Telcom, reported that it is has successfully completed the initial testing of IP Centrex and VoIP services developed using BroadSoft’s BroadWorks service delivery system. The provider now intends to launch trial customer services later this month, with plans to begin offering services on a commercial basis in select U.S. Pacific Northwest markets early next year. It also intends to launch services in Puerto Rico and New York by next summer, and to have services fully operational throughout the U.S. by the end of next year.
Surf&Call Launches VoIP WebCommerce Service
Surf&Call Network Services, a VocalTec division, reported that it has launched a VoIP enabled eCommerce service, branded Surf&Call, on a commercial basis. The service enables corporations to integrate support for a variety of communications capabilities into a web site including Internet telephony, co browsing and text chat to enable visitors to initiate communications from a PC to a CSR without disconnecting from the Internet. The provider is offering the service on two levels: the Professional, which provides support for the entire array of communications capabilities; and Basic, which supports calls from a PC to a toll free number.
Pagoo Developing Voice Over Broadband Service/Solution
Pagoo has reported that it is planning to develop a voice over broadband (VOB) service that will enable CLEC, ISP, DSL, CATV and other broadband providers to offer private labeled Internet based phone services via residential gateways. The CPE technology is expected to be designed to provide an Ethernet and several RJ11 interfaces, and handle all compression/decompression of traffic. In addition, the unit will support several advanced calling features such as call forward and follow, and web based account management, set up and configuration. The company intends to offer the technology on a hosted ASP basis, in which it will host and manage all components of the service for other providers, or on a licensed basis, in which the other provider will host and manage select components of the solution/service.
Pagoo intends to begin testing the service with several undisclosed providers in a few weeks. Pagoo
Tolly Research Results
Proprietary VoIP encoding falls short: RT24 voice encoding delivers inferior quality for business usage
By Charles Bruno, Executive Editor, Tolly Research
Engineers testing a proprietary method of encoding voice traffic for transmission at low data rates have learned that the technology does not deliver voice quality acceptable for business applications.
Testers at Tolly Research, which publishes ITclarity research reports, says that despite significant bandwidth savings, the RT24 voice encoding technique delivers inferior quality audio and should be used between remote sites only when no other voice communications are available.
Tolly Research measured the voice quality of Lucent Technologies’ ultra-low-bit-rate RT24 vocoder using Lucent’s Voice over IP gateway products. RT24 is a Lucent-proprietary algorithm for ultra-low-bit-rate transmissions at 2.4 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 proprietary vocoder we examined. The question we seek to answer in this Test Case is whether or not an ultra-low-bit-rate vocoder, which delivers a compression ratio greater than 25:1 compared to a standard G.711 vocoder for uncompressed voice, provides acceptable voice quality for business applications.
The RT24 vocoder, as implemented in Lucent’s MAX VoIP gateway products, does not come close to providing voice quality on par with other vocoders Tolly Research has tested. There was essentially no difference in voice quality when using Common Channel Signaling or T1 robbed-bit signaling in conjunction with the RT24 vocoder. And, unlike any of the PSQM results for the vocoders tested in previous tests, there basically is no difference between PSQM scores for male and female voices when using the RT24 vocoder. In general, the voice quality for RT24 is unacceptable for business use.
For more information on this and other IP Telephony issues, visit Tolly’s web site.
FCC Outlines its Position Against Regulating Internet Telephony