Monday, September 19, 2005

Sprint Partners with Avaya for Hosted VoIP Services

Sprint and Avaya announced a partnership to develop and deliver hosted VoIP telephony wireline and wireless services for the North American marketplace. The agreement allows the companies to jointly develop, market and support new and differentiated VoIP services to business customers as a full-suite portfolio ranging from customer-premise solutions to network-based solutions.

Under the agreement, Avaya will work with Sprint to offer Avaya's portfolio of IP communications applications including IP Telephony, Wireless Integration and Messaging in a hosted model. Sprint will supply customers with hosted IP telephony and wireless services and applications on a per-seat, per-month basis, enabling companies to implement advanced communications technology flexibly according to business growth requirements, with lower infrastructure investments and maintenance responsibilities.

The first offer the companies will deliver is Sprint Hosted Messaging, which is anticipated to be available in Q4 2005, followed in 2006 with Hosted IP Telephony and Wireless Integration.

Microsoft's Reorganization will Combine Windows Client, Server and MSN Groups

Microsoft will reorganize into three newly formed divisions, each of which will be led by its own president. In addition, the company said Ray Ozzie will expand his role as chief technical officer by assuming responsibility for helping drive its software-based services strategy and execution across all three divisions, and Jim Allchin will retire at the end of 2006 following the commercial release of Windows Vista. The three divisions are:

  • the Microsoft Platform Products & Services Division, which will be led by Kevin Johnson and Jim Allchin as co-presidents. This division comprises Windows Client, Server and Tools, and MSN.

  • the Microsoft Business Division, which will be headed by Jeff Raikes as president. This division will deliver software and software-based services that enable organizations to succeed in constantly evolving workplace by amplifying the impact of their people.

  • the Microsoft Entertainment & Devices Division, which will be headed by Robbie Bach.

MCI Offers Wholesale SIP Termination Service

MCI has added a Carrier IP Termination solution using a SIP interface to its suite of wholesale VoIP offerings. MCI said the SIP-based Carrier IP Termination offering would help wholesale customers save money when terminating IP-originated calls to the PSTN, or when eliminating the need to convert IP traffic to TDM prior to handing traffic off to MCI's global IP network.

The SIP-based product, available on a limited basis in 2005 and more broadly available in the U.S. in Q1 2006, joins MCI's previously announced TDM-based Carrier IP Termination product. Together, these interface products provide wholesale customers with the ability to hand-off traffic using the transport method that best suits their needs.

MCI Wholesale Services also offers SIP Gateway Services, giving wholesale customers more choice and flexibility in meeting their end-user requirements. MCI's SIP Gateway Services are available in three service configurations: Inbound Complete, Two-Way Local and Two-Way Complete.

With all configurations of the SIP Gateway Services, MCI provides the media gateway to the PSTN, local number portability, E-911 (for outbound configurations), directory listings and Web-based order submission.

BellSouth VON Keynote: An RBOC Dinosaur's Perspective

It would be a disservice to the industry to make the claim that VoIP networks survived Hurricane Katrina while other networks did not, said Bill Smith, CTO of BellSouth, speaking at VON Fall in Boston. All network equipment -- including VoIP gear -- needs electricity to operate, said Smith, noting that the loss of back-up generators due to the inability to refuel them led to many of the outages in New Orleans following the hurricane. Keeping the network running required armed convoys of trucks to deliver diesel fuel and water. Smith also noted that BellSouth has lots of experience dealing with hurricanes -- 22 hurricanes since 1992 -- but had not experienced anything like Katrina.

Smith said BellSouth is interested in VoIP for a variety of reasons. First, migrating away from Class 5 switches to an all IP network could drive hundreds of millions of dollars in cost savings. Smith also sees VoIP as a strategic fit for driving fixed-mobile-convergence. Through its Cingular venture, BellSouth has been driving a first wave of wireless/wireline feature integration. The company is testing dual-mode Wi-Fi handsets (Motorola, Nokia, Samsung, LG and others) and anticipates a much tighter integration of wireline/wireless integration. He sees the IMS architecture as key to launching common applications over both networks.

VON Keynote: Pulver's Perspective

"VoIP is no longer just disrupting telecom, it is about transformation," said Jeff Pulver in a keynote address at the Fall VON in Boston. We are experiencing the coming together of 2 distinct groups -- the telecom industry and the computing industry -- and the pieces are coming together faster than ever before. Application developers are purchasing communications companies amid a new rush to add communication capabilities to everyday applications. eBay/Skype, Yahoo/Dialpad, Microsoft/Teleo, GoogleTalk -- all these have happened in the last 2 months.

What else is new? Pulver cited two events that are impacting the industry.

The first is Hurricane Katrina which shows how depend we still are on the PSTN work and cellular networks..both of which failed to work in the storm's aftermath. Pulver said a call was carried from the President to the Mayor of New Orleans over the Vonage network. Meanwhile, amateur radio operators were able to establish communication when other means failed. He chided the FCC for failing to consider the role of either of these technologies in its recent open meeting that addressed the disaster. Pulver also proposed an "Internet field day" along the lines of an annual event held by amateur radio operators to practice their emergency readiness. The idea would be to rollout ad hoc meshed WiMAX networks following a major disaster. These networks could be combined with long-haul amateur radio links to quickly restore a level of communications.

A second major change affecting the industry, said Pulver, is the introduction of disruptive video broadcasting technology. The LiveAid ~Live8 concerts broadcast over the Internet last summer demonstrated that Web video delivery really could rival traditional broadcast networks. Pulver is convinced that TV is becoming just another application on the Internet. He is also a fan of Slingmedia, which offers a box for tunneling TV content from a home receiver over an IP connection. This line of reasoning leads to a growing appreciated for the four Internet Freedoms outlined by the former FCC Chairman Michael Powell -- the rights for users to access their choice of legal content, using applications and devices of their choice, and knowing that their online security is being protected.

Alcatel to build "Smart Road" for UK Highways

Alcatel was awarded a EUR 120 million contract to build and deploy a converged high-speed telecommunication network alongside England's motorways. The project is managed by GeneSYS, the consortium selected to deploy the National Roads Telecommunications Services (NRTS) on behalf of the UK Highways Agency.

The UK Highways Agency currently manages and maintains 28 networks with data coming from over 11,000 roadside devices. Alcatel's installation of a single, IP-based optical backbone network will improve the transmission of various types of information - such as CCTV footage, variable messaging and electronic signalling - as well as enhance the delivery of commercial services such as emergency telephony.

Implementation will begin in 2006 with completion of the core transmission network planned for Q1 2007.

Entone Introduces Mgt System for Libraries of VOD Assets

Entone Technologies introduced its "Armada" asset allocation solution for managing libraries of VOD titles. The system goes beyond static VOD content distribution systems by dynamically and cost-optimally placing video assets in the appropriate location and storage media based on their real-time popularity.

Entone's Armada asset allocation system anticipates that RAM will be the most appropriate storage medium for the most popular, but few video assets in a library. However, the cost of RAM storage is hundreds of times more expensive than other storage options (such as SATA) that are more appropriate for less popular "long tail" content.

Armada distributes assets in real-time to the most optimal storage, server, or network based on real-time usage data. This compares to other video server solutions that typically rely on a static, "best guess" approach to asset placement. Since viewer behavior can't always be predicted, Armada continuously makes adjustments to storage assignments so that every storage device is fully utilized with the right balance of streaming capacity to storage space.

Entone estimates that its Armada system can increase resource efficiency by more than 30%. The system is currently available and is already deployed by Hong Kong's PCCW, Norway's Lyse Tel, and US telco operators Consolidated Communications and Pioneer Long Distance.

BorderWare Releases SIPassure 2.0 to Secure Network Edge

BorderWare Technologies announced the release of SIPassure 2.0, a turn-key platform that provides network and application layer security for VoIP, Instant Messaging, Video Conferencing and other SIP-based applications.

Borderware said traditional perimeter firewalls are not designed to secure and manage the dynamic nature of real-time SIP communications leaving enterprises exposed at the application layer. SIPassure 2.0 provides an added layer of security for SIP Proxy Servers, IP-PBX's, and real-time communications systems from market leaders including Cisco Call Manager, Microsoft Live Communications Server (LCS) 2005, 3Com VCX, Marconi ViPr, Avaya, Nortel and open-source vendors such as Asterisk.

SIPassure goes beyond traditional SIP capable firewalls by securing not only the application and media servers but also securing all users and SIP end-points. It is a secure edge proxy that offers standard features such as NAT traversal, topology hiding, session management, and traditional firewall protection as well as enhanced functionality to protect against SIP-based attacks.

BorderWare is a preferred SIP security technology partner for Marconi and Ubiquity Software Corporation. In addition, SIPassure 2.0 is being trialed in several service provider networks as a key component of their secure VoIP offerings.

Taiwan's Seednet Offers TelTel's SIP Service

Seednet, a leading ISP based in Taiwan, has launched a VoIP telephony service using TelTel's SIP-based network. "Wagaly TelTel" is the new co-branded VoIP telephony service powered by TelTel's PsipTN - the SIP-based network backbone and turnkey solution for service providers. The service will be formally available to the 250,000 Seednet subscribers with an ADSL broadband connection in late October. The service allows users to make cost-effective Wagaly TelTel-enabled PC-PSTN calls both within Taiwan and internationally.

Freescale Supplies Processor for Alvarion WiMAX-ready platform

Alvarion has chosen Freescale's most advanced PowerQUICC III processor containing a PowerPC core to handle the complex, multi-protocol host-processing functions for a WiMAX base station designed to support both fixed and mobile broadband connectivity.

Convergin Unveils Core Network Convergence Solution

Convergin, a provider of core wireless convergence servers (WCS), unveiled its core network convergence solution to provide mobile capabilities for softswitch-based networks.

Convergin's Accolade core WCS platform creates a unified fixed and mobile core switching solution by interworking with wireline softswitches. This enables wireless, and wireline service providers to leverage a softswitch-based packet network into a distributed mobile switching environment with gateway mobile switching center (GMSC) functionality, and at the same time start utilizing convergence service capabilities, thereby putting the network on a clear evolution path to IMS.

As a core element, the Convergin Accolade supports mobile gateway switching for GSM, CDMA, and 3G/UMTS networks on a single platform. It can be deployed in any packet network alongside a standard Softswitch or Media Gateway Controller delivering location interrogation for mobile routing, intelligent network capabilities and supplementary services all while maintaining high scalability and carrier grade reliability.

By taking a core network approach, Convergin said its solution offers seamless access across the SIP and mobile domains, allowing service providers to offer new convergence services such as Single Identity, SIP roaming and support for dual mode cell/WiFi devices. The company is targeting its solution at a wide range of service providers including mobile operators, wireline carriers, long distance and international carriers, full communication service providers with wireline and wireless networks and emerging carriers such as VoIP carriers, ISPs, MSOs, and Greenfield MVNOs.

Nominum Delivers ENUM for IMS with BladeCenter

Nominum is leveraging IBM's eServer BladeCenter to deliver ENUM carrier grade scalability for service Providers delivering IP Multimedia Subsystems (IMS). Using Nominum's ENUM solution running on seven IBM eServer BladeCenter systems in a single BladeCenter chassis, the combined solution was able to load more than 200 million NAPTR records and respond to over 250,000 queries per second with a response time of 1 millisecond per query. By comparison, open source solutions including BIND, DJBDNS, and PowerDNS failed during their attempt to scale past 50 million records.

Leveraging Nominum's ENUM solution, IBM adds industry leading ENUM server performance and availability for IP-based services to its extensive list of IP Multimedia Subsystems (IMS) capabilities.

"The complexity of today's networks is requiring a fundamental shift to reliance on software and services to drive next generation networks," said Jim Pertzborn, vice president Telecommunications Industry, IBM Systems and Technology Group. "Our relationship with Nominum strengthens our capabilities in delivering carrier-class infrastructure to enable our customers IMS strategy."

PMC-Sierra Debuts VoIP Wi-Fi Broadband Router Platform

PMC-Sierra introduced a VoIP Wi-Fi Broadband Router platform for OEMs and ODMs based on an open source-based design. The solution enables a Triple Play performance wireless home router with simultaneous PSTN-quality voice, wire-speed Fast Ethernet routing and firewall performance, and Video-over-IP service capability. It leverages a DSP-based voice engine to maximize the MIPS processor's performance in management, signaling and high speed IP routing tasks.

PMC-Sierra said its VoIP technology has completed compliance testing at the China Netcom Group Labs, achieving exceptional voice quality measurement results with a Mean Opinion Score (MOS) of greater than 4.1. In addition, PMC-Sierra's VoIP solutions have been certified by China Telecommunication Technology Labs (CTTL) and Korea's Telecommunications Technology Association.

Siemens and Genesys Integrate SIP-Based Solutions

Siemens Communications and Genesys Telecommunications Laboratories (a division of Alcatel) have integrated the SIP-based Siemens HiPath 8000 Real-Time IP System and the SIP-based Genesys 7 portfolio of contact center management applications.

The two companies said they are creating a complete IP contact center solution based around the HiPath 8000 VoIP solution. Building upon a 10-year reseller relationship, Siemens and Genesys recently completed interoperability testing for the combined solution at the Siemens Labs in San Jose. Genesys is now completing certification tests prior to making the combined solution market available for proof-of-concept projects today and for production environments in early 2006. Once available, Siemens will also offer a complete set of managed services to support the Siemens and Genesys solutions.

Pingtel Introduces Turn-Key SIPxchange Appliance

Pingtel Corp., a provider of open source, commercial-grade enterprise communications solutions, introduced a line of turnkey SIP IP PBX Appliances for the small to medium enterprise market based on technology from Alliance Systems , Intel, AudioCodes and Polycom.

Alliance Systems has worked exclusively with Pingtel to engineer a cost competitive, certified IP PBX appliance that includes post sales technical support and global logistics. These turn-key appliances, supplied by Alliance Systems, utilize Intel servers, AudioCodes gateways, and Red Hat Linux 4.0.

Pingtel's channel partners and enterprise end customers can elect to include any of Polycom's SIP desktop and conference phones as part of the order, or acquire phones separately. Pingtel's SIPxchange, the SIP PBX for Linux, is at the heart of each certified solution, providing enterprise customers with a complete enterprise communications application, including hardware and software support, for about 50 percent less than competing solutions.

Based on the open source sipXpbx from SIPfoundry, the SIPxchange PBX appliance includes the features and functions of traditional PBXs--all delivered using SIP open source code. In addition to PBX features, the SIPxchange appliance includes core business applications, including an automatic call distributor (ACD), and a built-in presence server for true next-generation applications.

mVox Offers USB Speakerphone Device

mVox Electronics introduced a portable USB speakerphone that works with Internet telephone applications such as Instant Messenger (IM) and VoIP. The device uses a DSP to deliver full-duplex voice quality as well as echo and background noise cancellation. It comes with a headset that allows users to have private conversations. The price is $39.99 and it will be sold online at,,, and and at Sharper Image and Radio Shack retail stores across the country.

Veraz Extends its Softswitch for Wireless

Veraz Networks has extended its service delivery platform for wireless networks, enabling fixed mobile convergence (FMC) by unifying the service layer and enabling application portability across wireline and wireless networks. Veraz's FMC approach is enabled by its family of programmable softswitch, service delivery and media gateway platforms that are based on a distributed architecture that maps to IMS.

The Veraz architecture incorporates programmable service broker capabilities that can coordinate between multiple service platforms, like legacy wireline SCPs, wireless SCPs, NGN app servers, and services within the Veraz ControlSwitch. The platform supports protocols used in various TDM and VoIP networks in addition to wireless protocols such as IS-41, GSM-MAP, WIN and CAMEL.

Veraz said its library of native protocols, in combination with its programmable service broker unifying the service layer, makes it possible to add new protocols, such as wireless IN and ongoing enhancements to SIP and IMS related interfaces.

See also