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Second Quarter 1998

Qwest To Buy LCI For $4.4 Billion In Stock
Qwest Communications International, Inc., announced that it has agreed to buy LCI International, Inc., in a $4.4 billion stock deal, creating the No. 4 long-distance phone company in the United States. The combined companies will have about 2.3 million customers, annual sales of $2.3 billion, and 5,800 employees. They will rank fourth behind AT&T Corp., the largest long-distance carrier, the combined WorldCom-MCI, and Sprint Corp. The deal is subject to approval by regulators and Qwest and LCI shareholders. Qwest said its majority shareholder had agreed to vote for the deal. The companies expect to complete the deal in the third quarter.

"Qwest’s ability to sell next-generation data services is greatly enhanced by the LCI sales, marketing, and distribution strengths," Qwest President Joseph Nacchio said in a statement. "This merger accelerates both Qwest’s and LCI’s business plans by several years." Qwest, a relatively small but fast-growing company based in Denver, has been building a high-tech network to transmit voice, data, and video. It had sales of $697 million last year. The $2 billion network will link 125 cities that generate 80 percent of the voice and data traffic in the United States, Qwest officials say. LCI, based in McLean, Va., had sales of about $1.6 billion last year, and has a widespread service network, with about six times the number of locations Qwest has in the United States. For more information, visit the company’s Web site at www.qwest.com.

Aspect Integrates Internet Commerce Into Call Centers
Aspect Telecommunications has unveiled its Web Agent interactive contact solution. Aspect’s Web Agent software connects consumers on the Internet with call center agents for interactive Internet commerce and customer support. The software combines verbal and visual interaction with real-time information in a visually rich, shared browsing environment. Aspect’s solution aims to speed the adoption of Internet commerce by helping consumers obtain more immediate answers to their questions and become more comfortable with using the Internet. Web Agent software offers personalized service through a shared browser interface that allows either the customer or the call center agent to navigate through any relevant Web site. With this ability to interact, the agent can often provide the information necessary to complete the customer transaction in real time.

Web Agent is an open, standards-based application that works with multiple automatic call distribution platforms, including those from Lucent, Nortel, and Rockwell, as well as those from Aspect. The software also integrates with many existing IT and telecommunications infrastructures. It supports the use of standard Web browsers, including Netscape Navigator 3.0 and higher, and Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0 and higher. Aspect’s Web Agent software is scheduled to begin shipping later in 1998. For more information, contact the company at 408-325-2200.

LHS Group’s Web-Based Software Chosen By France Telecom Subsidiary
LHS Group, Inc., has announced that France Caraibe Mobiles (FCM), a wholly-owned subsidiary of France Telecom, has licensed the LHS Web Service Center (WSC), an Internet-based customer care and dealer service application. With the WSC, FCM’s dealers can use the Internet to activate new customers simply and quickly at the point of sale, enabling FCM to quickly expand its distribution channels. The WSC provides dealers online access to activation services and customer account information using technology that allows direct communication with the Business Support and Control System (BSCS), the LHS flagship customer care and billing software. FCM’s dealers will not need to fax orders and wait for results.

Based in Guadeloupe, FCM provides digital and analog cellular service in French departments in the Caribbean. Under a previously announced agreement, FCM is licensing BSCS to support both GSM and AMPS technologies on a single platform for up to 100,000 subscribers. FCM currently provides service in the Caribbean islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique. During this year, FCM plans to expand coverage to include French Guyana (in South America) and St. Barth (also in the Caribbean). Next year, coverage will be expanded to St. Pierre, Miquelon, and St. Martin. LHS is a leading provider of client/server modular customer care and billing software products and related services for wireless, wireline, satellite, and other telecommunications firms. For more information, contact LHS at 770-280-3523.

Summa Four Releases New Virtual Central Office Open Programmable Switch
Summa Four, Inc., announced that it has released VCO/4K, the newest member of the company’s flagship Virtual Central Office (VCO) family of open programmable switches. VCO/4K delivers 4,096 ports on a single switch, as well as several new software capabilities. VCO/4K will benefit both established and emerging carriers to whom price per port, footprint, system flexibility, and time-to-market for new services and infrastructure have become increasingly important considerations. Unlike competing approaches, which require up to three switches to be interconnected using proprietary technology, the VCO/4K packs 4,096 non-blocking ports within a single rack-mountable platform 25 inches tall. The result is simplified application scalability for developers and easier, more efficient deployment and management for service providers.

VCO/4K includes Summa Four’s service platform card (SPC), a high-density card used to support a broad range of service resources. The SPC consists of a common controller that supports from one to four service resource modules (SRMs). A fully populated SPC can support over 1,000 full-duplex service circuits, greatly reducing hardware costs. Supporting up to 32 digital signal processors on a single card, the SPC is the key component of Summa Four’s plan to build high-performance, carrier-class Voice over IP gateways. For more information, contact the company at 603-625-4050.

DSPR Debuts High-Performance VoIP Gateways
New to DSP Research’s family of MVIP DSP Resource Boards is the VIPER-12 548/PC. Offering double the performance of its predecessor, the VIPER-12 allows up to 48 channels of H.323 voice over IP (VoIP) to run on a single board. The high-density VIPER-12 is geared toward VoIP, voice mail, and telecommunications applications. It is particularly ideal as a DSP platform for such applications as VoIP gateways, IS-136/IS-95 cellular base stations, remote access servers, wireless local loop gateways, and satellite base stations.

Combining the MVIP with 12 powerful Texas Instruments TMS320LC548 DSPs, the VIPER-12 increases channel density while reducing the cost of these applications. With 12 DSPs on each board, the VIPER-12 is one of the highest-density DSP resource boards available. For rapid software development, the VIPER-12 548/PC is supplied with host APIs for the MVIP switch control and DSP-host communications, plus the QuickSTART DSP operating environment. For more information, contact the company at 408-773-1042.

NKO Announces IP Telephony Expansion
NKO, Inc., has finalized agreements to deploy its IP telephony systems in Israel, Brazil, Australia, and Korea. NKO’s carrier-grade systems will initially provide voice and fax services. The NKO IP network offers a solution to the problems of quality and reliability often encountered by users of the Internet. The company will offer prepaid IP telephony calling cards later this year. NKO launched the FaxJet Service on its own network, NKOnet, in early 1997. The service transmits facsimiles in real-time over a long-distance, frame-relay network, providing more efficient and better transmission quality when compared with the circuit switched voice networks operated by traditional long-distance carriers.

According to Doron Nevo, CEO of NKO, "NKO’s carrier- grade solution and our ability to integrate both voice and fax over the same facility appeals to both carriers and ISPs. NKO’s patented technology manages the allocation of bandwidth to provide a guaranteed grade of service for voice, fax, data, and video applications, allowing carrier-grade IP telephony services. For more information, con-tact John Widlicka at 904-730-0050 x228.

Cabletron’s SmartSwitch Router Certified By The Tolly Group
Cabletron Systems announced that its SmartSwitch Router has been "Certified Up To Spec" by the Tolly Group, an independent testing organization based in Manasquan, NJ. The Tolly Group conducted a series of tests to prove the real-world functionality of Cabletron’s SmartSwitch Router, including performance and interoperability testing with legacy routing solutions. The tests reflect the actual and immediate requirements of enterprise network managers and service providers, demonstrating the SmartSwitch Routers’ ability to perform at more than 15 million packets per second. The SmartSwitch Router simultaneously provides critical value-added features such as accounting, security, and full-featured routing — with no degradation in performance.

"It is unprecedented in our experience that router performance is unaffected by features like security and accounting.

The SmartSwitch Router has no performance degradation when important value-added functionality like Access Control Lists, RMON, and RMON2 are enabled," said Kevin Tolly, President and CEO of the Tolly Group.

(For further details on the testing, please see The Tolly Group’s test document #8265 at www.tolly.com.) In addition to high performance, Cabletron offers one of the industry’s lowest entry costs for switch routers: Pricing begins at $499 per port for Fast Ethernet. For more information, contact Kim Carpenter at 603-337-1717.

ECI Telecom, VocalTec Join To Produce Carrier-Grade IP Telephony Solutions
ECI Telecom Ltd. and VocalTec Communications Ltd.have announced a comprehensive joint development and marketing agreement to bring carrier-grade, end-to-end IP telephony solutions to telephone companies and network operators worldwide.

Under the agreement, VocalTec will port its Telephony Gateway software to ECI Telecom’s Universal multi-service platform, which is expected to produce an Internet-to- public switched telephone network gateway system capable of serving hundreds of lines per platform, enabling operators to build networks that serve millions of users. The open, standards-based (H.323) VocalTec-ECI system, HI-GATE, will support the existing billing, provisioning, networking management, and other support systems used by carriers and will interoperate with all of VocalTec’s current and future products.

In addition to the carrier-grade VocalTec-ECI Telephony Gateway, ECI will also market VocalTec’s complete line of client and server IP communications solutions including Internet Phone, Atrium, smaller gateways, and other IP telephony server products. ECI Telecom’s systems provide capacity expansion, flexibility, and management functions to more effectively utilize existing networks for voice, data, video, wide-area, and integrated networks. VocalTec Communications software enables audio, video, data, text, and collaborative communications between personal computers and other devices over the Internet. For more information, visit ECI Telecom’s Web site at www.ecitel.com, or VocalTec’s site at www.vocaltec.com.

VIP Calling Enables Multi-Party Settlements For IT
VIP Calling has announced that it has successfully deployed new technology that enables multi-company settlements for Internet telephony. The VIP Calling Network brings together Internet telephony service providers (ITSPs) from around the world in a network that provides international voice communications over the Internet to telephone carriers. It is designed for high-volume carrier traffic.

The settlement technology is based on Mind CTI’s iPhonEX product, customized in a cooperative effort between VIP Calling and Mind CTI. The network uses Mind CTI’s Internet Billing, iPhonEX, to process CDRs (call detail records) for all the gateways on the network and to generate bills for carriers and settlement statements for ITSP partners. For more information, contact Gordon J. VanderBrug at 781-229-0011.

VegaStream To Join Ranks Of Internet Telephony Companies
A start-up Internet telephony company, called VegaStream, is being funded by the founder and ex-CEO of Tricom Communications Ltd. Significant investment by UK early-stage technology venture capitalists, MTI Partners, will enable the new company to complete a rapid development plan; its first products are to be unveiled in June 1998. VegaStream will design an ISP gateway for telephone users on a router-type hardware platform, thereby reducing the cost by two-thirds, compared to costs of competitive systems.

Typically used in conjunction with Microsoft’s NetMeeting, VegaStream’s product enables up to 30 conferees to be connected simultaneously and converse while viewing the same screen of data; documents under discussion can be altered in real-time. Based on architecture similar to LAN bridge/routers, the VegaStream conferencing system is a hardware product that handles suppression of extraneous noise, call management, maintenance of uniform speech level, DTMF signaling/ detection, and conversion of voice streams into IP packets. It connects directly onto Ethernet LANs on the inbound side and ISDN/frame relay links on the outbound side. For more information, contact Mike Hafferty at +44-0-1753-705155.

VocalTec To Acquire RADLINX, Expand IP Communications Portfolio RSI Systems Debuts Video Flyer-384
VocalTec Communications Ltd. announced that it has executed a definitive agreement to acquire substantially all the assets and assume substantially all the liabilities of RADLINX Ltd. RADLINX is a leading developer of innovative standards-based products for real-time online fax, e-mail-to-fax, and fax-to-e-mail transmission over IP networks. (Closing of the acquisition under the agreement is subject to the satisfaction of various conditions.) 

The addition of RADLINX fax gateway products and technology will expand VocalTec’s end-to-end IP communications business solutions portfolio, enhancing its ability to offer both fax and voice with a universal interface for carrier-class and corporate solutions. One of the RADLINX products VocalTec would acquire is the PASSaFAX system which connects to existing fax machines and corporate networks to route fax transmissions over IP networks. While most other systems use delayed, store-and-forward transmission, RADLINX systems transmit in real-time. For more information, contact Jo Lee, VocalTec, at 201-768-9400.

RSI Systems Debuts Video Flyer-384
RSI Systems, developer and manufacturer of advanced video conferencing peripheral systems engines, presents the Video Flyer-384. This self-contained video conferencing component combines 384 performance with the simplicity of a TV remote control. With the Video Flyer-384, users have access to a versatile conferencing system that operates at 128, 256, or 384 Kbps within H.320 ISDN standards when connected directly to any size television, projection system, PC, Macintosh, or laptop.

Video Flyer-384 features an advanced single-board design that utilizes flash memory instead of a traditional hard disk for storage. The Video Flyer’s design eliminates the hard and diskette drives that often plague video conferencing systems. All the program features are stored on flash memory instead. This gives the user increased reliability while it relieves them of the need to upgrade software in the field. Video Flyer users need merely call a phone number and are provided with new software releases and features downloaded in a matter of seconds. For more information, contact the company at 800-496-4304.

SkyWave’s Open VoIP Gateway Solution Offers Rapid Deployment
Now available from SkyWave is the SkyGate 98 VoIP gateway. SkyGate 98 is a reliable, scalable, turnkey gateway for VARs, system integrators, and service providers, designed to provide rapid deployment of customized telecom services over the Internet. As a self-contained, carrier-grade platform, SkyGate 98 provides VoIP gate-way functionality to an external host computer through a gateway controller interface, a Socket-based API. SkyGate 98 functionality includes real-time voice and fax support, hybrid echo cancellation, silence suppression, and signaling transparency. SkyGate 98 is scalable to 96 lines per chassis and up to 960 lines per location.

SkyGate 98 features a unique gateway controller interface (GCI) that controls gateway responses to incoming calls and allows the addition of value-added applications such as voice mail, billing, paging, prepaid phone cards, teleconferencing, and leastcost routing to run outside the gateway. The GCI can be located outside of the gateway, on a gateway controller, allowing the addition of an unlimited number of lines to a gateway location. For more information, contact the company at 408-245-1741.

DataBeam’s H.323 Toolkit Series 2.0 Delivers Carrier-Grade Capabilities
DataBeam Corp. has announced the commercial availability of H.323 Version 2-compliant developers’ toolkits. The company’s new H.323 Toolkit Series 2.0 is among the industry’s first carrier-grade protocol stacks to incorporate the recently ratified Version 2 standards. DataBeam’s H.323 Toolkit Series 2.0 now meets baseline requirements for Version 2 of the H.323 series standards. H.323 Version 2 features commercially available in DataBeam’s toolkits include support for supplementary services, call identifiers that associate RAS messages with Q.931 messages, and additional alias types such as e-mail and Web addresses. It also offers Q.931, H.245, and RAS API features.

DataBeam’s H.323 Toolkit Series 2.0 enables third-party developers to embed standards-based voice and video communications technology in Internet and LAN products. The H.323 toolkits also provide OEMs a wide range of development options with complete, modular APIs. They combine the H.323 technology used in Microsoft’s NetMeeting and Intel’s Internet Video Phone with valuable, high-level programming abstractions and DataBeam’s extensive expertise in providing standards-based building blocks to third parties. Over 25 telcos, leading IP network infrastructure vendors, and other developers, including 3Com, GTE, NetPhone, Symbol Technologies, and Vienna Systems, have licensed H.323 technology from DataBeam for developing a variety of products and services. For more information, visit the company’s Web site at www.databeam.com.

Delta Three Announces Global Internet Telephony Access
Delta Three, Inc., and parent company RSL Communications, Ltd., announced the first PC-to-phone service to deliver worldwide coverage over a managed network. Users download free software from the Web, paying greatly discounted prices for "phone calls" placed over the Delta Three Global IP Network. The company has released its newest product, Internet Phone Lite, which is the application used to dial out of a PC to a regular telephone in more than 200 countries.

The combination of Delta Three’s software solution and the Global Network will enable users to call directly from their computer to international destination points, without necessarily passing through the United States or any other central switch. This latest release, Internet Phone Lite, can be downloaded directly from www.pc2phone.com  or www.deltathree.com.  Installed on a desktop or laptop computer, the PC-to-phone services are available to anybody who has an Internet connection, a microphone, and speakers. By using the Internet to route calls, consumers can realize savings of up to 80 percent. For example, calling from a PC in Moscow to a telephone in New York costs 12.5 cents per minute using Delta Three, compared with over $2.00 per minute charged by traditional carriers in Moscow. For more information, contact Fara Hain at 212-588-3670.

Qwest To Acquire EUnet International, Expanding Operation Into 13 Countries
Qwest Communications International, Inc., announced it has agreed to acquire Amsterdam-based EUnet International in a cash and stock transaction valued at approximately $154 million. EUnet is a leading European Internet service provider (ISP) with business units operating in 13 countries: Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Spain, Portugal, Norway, Sweden, Luxembourg, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Romania, and Estonia. EUnet serves approximately 60,000 — primarily business — customers through-out Europe. "The European data market is exploding to an estimated $55 billion by the year 2000. The Internet is the driving force behind this trend," said Joseph P. Nacchio, president and CEO at Qwest. "EUnet has extensive Internet expertise and an understanding of Europe’s diverse national markets and regulatory issues. The liberalization of the European telecommunications market and our recently acquired transatlantic capacity, combined with the EUnet acquisition, allow Qwest to provide business customers with high-performance and cost-effective end-to- end data and Internet services between North America and Europe." 

The Qwest Macro Capacity Fiber network is designed with a reliable and secure bidirectional, line-switching OC-192 SONET ring architecture. Upon completion, the network will offer a self-healing system that provides superior security and reliability by allowing instantaneous rerouting in the event of a fiber cut. For more information, visit Qwest’s Web site at www.qwest.com.

I-Link Deploys Enhanced IP Telephony Networks
Long-distance and communications services provider I-Link, Inc., has announced the commercial deployment of its enhanced Internet protocol (IP) telephony network. Installation of the I-Link enhanced IP-telephony network allows more than 25 calling areas in the metro areas of Los Angeles; Orange County, Calif.; Dallas/Ft. Worth; Houston; Phoenix; and Salt Lake City to take advantage of long-distance rates as low as 4.9 cents per minute as well as unified voice, fax, and e-mail messaging, conference calling, and one-number call routing.

"The first network devices are already in place and performing exceptionally well," said Alex Radulovic, I-Link vice president of engineering. "The rates we use as measurements of connection success and call quality indicate our devices are performing better than traditional switches." The I-Link network combines telco, intranet, voice messaging, paging, Internet, e-mail and more. This "smart network" allows I-Link to integrate into a mixed network of other network devices. The company does not have to undertake the enormous and time-consuming expense of installing a completely new nationwide infrastructure: they can leverage other existing physical facilities. I-Link service was to be available for customer sign-up beginning April 1. For more information, visit the company’s Web site at www.ilink.net.

Billionton Designs Notebook Video Conferencing Kit
New from Billionton is an all-in-one PC card (PCM-CIA) video conferencing kit for notebook PCs. Designed for notebooks with zoomed video PC card sockets, the kit provides real-time, two-way video conferencing through the Internet, a standard telephone line, ISDN, LANs, and cellular phone service.It includes a high-resolution color digital camera, a video capture PC card, and videoconferencing application software. The card will provide capture and playback motion video at 30 frames per second for lifelike images. Powered from a type II, zoomed video-capable, PC card socket, it requires no external power source.

The kit’s software is a full 32-bit Windows 95 application. It allows users to capture motion video or single frames and supports multiple video, bitmap file formats, and video/audio synchronization. The new Billionton notebook video conferencing kit is expected to list for $249. For more information, con-tact Derek Ma at 909-468-5500.

Brooktrout Provides Complete Telephony Solution
The newest offering from Brooktrout Technology, Inc., is the TR2001 board, which delivers up to 60 channels of IP voice and IP fax in just one PCI slot. This is one of the highest-density IP telephony platforms currently available. Brooktrout also offers phone-to-phone and phone-to-PC IP voice gateway applications, as well as fax-to-fax real-time applications (FaxRelay, FaxPAD), and fax-to-fax store and forward applications (IP/FaxRouter, NT FaxRouter).

A leading supplier of software and hardware products for system vendors and service providers in the electronic messaging market, Brooktrout offers a line of IP Voice and IP Fax products that allow developers to build cost-effective, high-density solutions for the rapidly growing Internet telephony market. Brooktrout’s progress in the development of IP voice and IP fax products aims to provide carriers, ISPs, next-generation telcos, and enterprise users an easy-to-use, compatible, and standards-based development environment. For more information, visit the company’s Web site at www.brooktrout.com.

Franklin Completes Agreement To Roll Out Internet Phone Network
Franklin Telecom announced that its Internet subsidiary, FNet Corp., has signed a definitive agreement with WorldCom to collocate its Internet telephone network on WorldCom sites. Under terms of the agreement, FNet will offer its Tempest Data Voice Gateway to a number of cities in the United States via the WorldCom network. Through the Tempest gateways, FNet will support national telephone-to-telephone service over a private intranet and the public Internet. The agreement also facilitates eventual overseas deployment of the gateways as well.

Tempest Data Voice Gateways incorporate Franklin Telecom’s own hardware technology, which includes a multiprocessor DSP card for voice compression and encoding. This technology has proved to offer the lowest delay across the IP network, significantly adding to the natural sound of the call. FNet’s network will incorporate several unique features. For instance, the user can adjust the delivery volume of the call while the call is in progress by using the telephone keypad. FNet customers using their authorization codes can also "anchor" on the network. This allows any number of subsequent calls to be made without having to reenter a PIN number or authorization code. For more information, contact the company at 805-373-8688 or 800-372-6556.

Artisoft Releases Visual Voice Enterprise
Artisoft, Inc., announces the release of Visual Voice Enterprise, an extension to the company’s award-winning Visual Voice telephony toolkit. Visual Voice Enterprise allows software developers to create robust distributed telephony applications that span multiple computers, running over the Internet or a LAN. Benefits offered by the new product include virtually unlimited application scalability, remote administration, and the ability to access computer telephony functionality from any Web browser. Visual Voice Enterprise provides enhanced scalability through support of Dialogic’s powerful SCxbus technology, which allows telephony applications to be distributed over multiple computers.

Visual Voice is a set of 32-bit ActiveX controls that turn any Windows ActiveX-compatible development environment, such as Microsoft Visual Basic, Microsoft Visual C++, Borland Delphi, and Sybase PowerBuilder, into a full-featured telephony application development toolkit. Visual Voice applications can be extended to include text-to-speech, voice recognition, multiparty conferencing, and multi-line faxing. Pricing of this new product starts at $795 for two PCs. For more information, contact Karen Bender at 617-354-7744.

Motorola Licenses NetSpeak IP Multimedia Communications Technology
Motorola, Inc., and NetSpeak Corp. have announced an expanded long-term strategic relationship that will combine NetSpeak’s leading IP telephony technology with Motorola’s leading wireless technology. The combination will enable real-time IP (Internet Protocol) multimedia communications on wireless networks. The two companies have extended their existing relationship to include joint development and licensing of technology as well as a $30 million multiyear minimum purchase commitment by Motorola for $30 million of NetSpeak products.

Under a joint development and licensing agreement, NetSpeak has granted Motorola an exclusive license to develop RF (Radio Frequency) products using NetSpeak’s technology. Motorola will be able to include NetSpeak’s technology in all wireless infrastructure, (such as cellular base stations and satellite networks) and subscriber devices (such as cellular phones, pagers, satellite phones, and two-way radios) to support real-time multimedia communications (e.g., voice, fax, audio, video, data) over a variety of wireless IP net-works. Additionally, NetSpeak has granted Motorola a nonexclusive license for the manufacture and sale of NetSpeak products. Motorola is the first licensee of the NetSpeak Communications Protocol Module (NCPM). For more information, visit Motorola’s Web site at www.mot.com.

Open Port Expands Operations In Europe
Leading provider of Internet telephony solutions Open Port Technology, Inc., announced that it is expanding its reach throughout Europe by initiating a program to sign up resellers of its software solutions. Open Port established its European operations in Paris in 1996. Through resellers, this move is designed to address the increased demand for software-based solutions for delivering messages of all types over IP networks, avoiding the more costly public telephone system. Open Port is looking to sign up a network of value-added resellers (VARs) and system integrators in France, Germany, Italy, and the United Kingdom to sell to transport providers, service providers, and messaging applications developers.

Terms of the reselling arrangements were not specified; however, it was indicated that a typical agreement would include cooperative marketing, lead generation and exchange, technical training, and customer support.Open Port recently strengthened its market position with the announcement that it was granted a patent for least cost routing (LCR), which routes a message over Internet and/or intranets to the lowest cost dial-out point on the network. By bypassing the long-distance component of the PSTN, LCR reduces delivery costs, while gaining benefits of high-speed and high-quality transmissions.The patent is significant because LCR is a fundamental system used in the delivery of messages of all types (fax, voice, video) over IP networks. For more information, contact Open Port at 312-867-5000.

NETRIX To Expand Market For Its Network Exchange 2210 Gateway
NETRIX has announced an initiative to expand the market for its Network Exchange 2210 Voice/Data/Fax-Over- IP Gateway to next-generation service providers and Internet service providers (ISPs). This would take the company beyond its traditional enterprise network market. Initially, NETRIX plans to deliver solutions capable of up to 2,000 ports at a single site. The combination of the Network Exchange 2210 and the Vodex software ensures high-quality voice with no compromise to data integrity and performance. Vodex delivers high-quality Voice over IP (VoIP) and Voice over frame relay, as well as the ability to gateway between the two technologies.

The fully scalable Network Exchange Gateway offers manageability as well as advanced switching features. It also offers excellent voice quality, based on the company’s "Voice-over-packet" products. Short-term product developments slated for the Network Exchange 2210 will improve capacity, performance, and price per port. The Network Exchange Gateway is now shipping. For more information, contact Sue Hale at 703-793-2016.

Deutsche Telekom Plans Mass Net Phone, ADSL Launch Deutsche Telecommunications has unveiled plans for a broad launch of Internet telephony services and high-speed ADSL digital lines for residential and business customers. Telekom made its first step toward developing Internet phone products last year when it took a stake in VocalTec. Software products such as VocalTec’s Internet Phone have been affording Net surfers with a cheap alternative to making long-distance phone calls. The price of an Internet call is always only the cost of a local phone call. Telekom chairman, Ron Somer, said the company did not expect Internet telephony to pose a danger to its core business; rather it would complement its main telecommunications business by offering consumers a low-cost alternative.

For those users demanding network speed, Telekom plans to accelerate development of asynchronous digital subscriber line (ADSL) technology. ADSL allows high-speed digital transmission of data over normal copper wires at a much faster rate than existing ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) and makes possible such service as video-on-demand. For the long term, Telekom sees ADSL as a mass-market application since even residential customers are demanding broadband capability. For more information, visit the company’s Web site at www.telekom.com.

Bay Networks Unveils SS7 Strategy For Consolidation Of Voice And Data Networks
Bay Networks, Inc., has announced a new strategy for leveraging the Signaling System 7 (SS7) protocol to enable integrated voice and data networking in service provider networks worldwide. Bay Networks’ support of SS7 will give service providers the ability to integrate voice switches and Versalar Remote Access Concentrators (RACs) to customize their remote access offerings and leverage their existing voice and signaling facilities. For the RBOC and LEC, that will mean Internet Offload services located across multiple POPs freeing upstream circuits for real revenue-producing voice traffic. The IXC could develop "Mega-POPs" — high-density POPs that aggregate dial data traffic over standard telco trunks. Connecting Versalar RACs with SS7 eliminates the need for PRI upgrades utilizing channelized T1 trunks that are commonly available in the voice system architectures.

The Bay Networks’ SS7 Gateway solution, available during the summer of 1998 for trials, will initially be supported on the Sun platform with support for multiple platforms, including NT, to follow. The SS7 Gateway platform will deliver an open Application Optimized Network in which SS7 and Network APIs will be supported to enable further development of advanced multi-vendor applications and services. It also is capable of supporting policy integration for advanced IP services features including Radius, LDAP and Service Level Agreements (SLAs), which Bay will be offering in future phases. For more information, visit the company’s Web site at www.baynetworks.com.

ACT Presents Video Over Frame Relay
ACT Networks has announced the AVI-2000 audio-video frame relay device. Using the AVI-2000 solution, video conferencing equipment with a standard H.320 interface or any constant bit rate (CBR) device can now interface with frame relay networks. The AVI-2000 provides call-by- call, on-demand video conferencing over frame relay and is not limited to static point-to-point HDLC connections.

"Combining the AVI-2000 with ACT’s integrated access products provides a complete and unified video conferencing solution for enterprise network customers," commented Martin Shum, president and CEO of ACT Networks. The AVI-2000 video module enables video applications, such as distance learning, to be seamlessly integrated with other enterprise applications and transmitted across a common wide-area network. The AVI-2000 has a base price of $3000. For more information, contact the company at 805-388-2474.

NEC, Cisco Collaborate To Integrate Voice And Data Networks
NEC America and Cisco Systems announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) establishing their intention to work together to meet the growing demand for integration of PBX and internetworking technology. The companies would thereby provide enhanced and lower-cost voice communication for businesses through the integration of voice and data networks.

First in a series of planned initiatives, this teaming is a development effort to deliver a full Voice over IP-enabled PBX (private branch exchange) utilizing the new NEAX 2400 iMX platform which NEC has also recently unveiled. This next-generation PBX introduces a networking technology called Fusion Call Control Signaling (FCCS), which will deploy a new transmission signaling protocol compatible with IP networks and Cisco’s routers and switches. This application is intended to allow a voice network to seamlessly integrate into an IP network, making it possible to add voice networking capabilities to a LAN or WAN without a major network restructuring. Under terms of the MoU, NEC will contribute expertise in the areas of voice communications, PBX technology, and vertical market application development, while Cisco will provide expertise in data communications and Internet technology. For more information, contract NEC at 800-TEAM-NEC.

Portal Introduces Real-Time Customer Management And Billing Software
Portal Software has announced their expansion into the Internet telephony market, as well as strategic relationships with leading Internet telephony companies. SkyWave, developer of gateway and network management solutions for Internet telephony, and VocalTec, an IP communications company, will take advantage of Portal’s Infranet software to provide innovative, turnkey solutions to new and established Internet telephony service providers (ITSPs). These include telcos, Internet service providers (ISPs), and exchange carrier service providers.

"A factor critical to the success of Internet telephony is a customer management and billing system that allows ITSPs to respond to customer needs and market opportunities in real-time," said John Little, founder and CEO of Portal. Portal’s Infranet software unifies the management of all core Internet business operations, including the ability to register, track, manage, and bill subscribers. Its real-time architecture and open development environment provide a platform for Internet telephony service creation and management. For more information, visit the company’s Web site at www.portal.com.

Latitude Integrates MeetingPlace Conference System
Latitude Communication’s MeetingPlace conference server now integrates with Microsoft’s NetMeeting and other data conferencing endpoints. This new MeetingPlace data conference software option will enable users to easily conduct data-enabled voice conferences, allowing them to collaborate on documents in real-time during an audio conference. The Latitude/Microsoft application complies with the internationally recognized T.120 standard for multipoint Latitude data conferencing.

Latitude’s MeetingPlace leverages the strengths of both the telephone network and the Internet — part of a company’s already-existing communications infrastructure — to manage the process of scheduling voice and data conferences, notifying participants, distributing meeting materials, managing the conferences, and recording and archiving the meeting and related materials for future access via the Web or telephone. For more information, contact the company at 800-999-7440.

Concentric Targets IP Voice Services At Network Carriers And Resellers
Concentric Network Corp. announced the availability of low-cost, IP-based international long-distance calling services for carriers and resellers. Concentric’s Carrier IP Voice Services deliver aggressively-priced, toll-quality international phone-to-phone calling to more than 200 countries around the world. The new service is targeted at facilities-based carriers and switch-based resellers.

Concentric Network has joined forces with a consortium of industry-leading Internet telephony service providers (ITSPs) from around the world to create an international IP voice network that provides high-quality, low-cost international voice services over regular telephones. The consortium has deployed IP-PSTN voice gateways designed and manufactured by OzEmail-Interline. As the exclusive U.S. affiliate of the Interline consortium, Concentric Network will gain access to OzEmail-Interline’s recently announced refile hub arrangement with Teltran, enabling the company to offer low-cost international long-distance calling to virtually any country in the world. For more information, contact Katie Greene at 408-342-2885.

RADVision Enters Partnerships To Develop H.323 IP Conferencing Solutions
RADVision has garnered three additional H.323 IP conferencing technology partners. Ascend and Natural MicroSystems will use RADVision’s H.323 protocol stack as key components in their respective Voice Over IP H.323-compliant products. Lucent Technologies will resell RADVision OnLAN L2W-323 Multimedia H.323 gateway solution for several of its collaborative conferencing products that allow users to make multimedia calls to more endpoints than previously possible.

Using RADVision’s H.323 Protocol Stack, Ascend’s MAX family of WAN access switches will act as gateways to implement Voice over IP. As for its use by Natural MicroSystems, the RADVision H.323 Protocol Stack will be incorporated in the company’s Fusion 2.0 platform; Fusion 2.0 enables voice, traditionally transmitted via circuit switching to the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN), to be reliably and quickly transmitted via packet switching over IP-based networks. As a result of RADVision’s reselling arrangement with Lucent, the L2W-323 multimedia H.323 Gateway will enable users of Lucent’s DEFINITY, Multimedia Call Handling (MMCH), ProLogix Solutions, and MultiPoint Conferencing Unit (MCU) to exchange voice, video, and data with H.323 clients such as Microsoft NetMeeting. For more information, contact Stacey Bender at 973-744-0707.

Mockingbird Networks Debuts IP Telephony Switch
Mockingbird Networks has introduced the Nuvo 100 IP Telephony switch designed to seamlessly interface the public switched telephone network (PSTN) with Internet Protocol (IP) networks or backbones .

The Nuvo switch allows carriers and Internet service providers to interface to local exchanges and offer telco-quality telephone service to their customers , while bypassing the traditional long-distance networks. The product offers up to 96 (T1) or 120 (E1) simultaneous channels of voice or fax. Employing Mockingbird’s new class of intelligent network (IN) SS7 provisioning, Nuvo switches are able to imitate standard PSTN voice switches while converting pulse code modulation (PCM) voice or fax circuits to IP packets. Call control between phone calls is handled by the PSTN’s SS7 network throughout the entire call to provide high-quality service to the end user and to the service provider. Calls are handled instantaneously without two-stage dialing. The first product to be unveiled in the open systems Nuvo family, the Nuvo 100 switch is a four-processor UltraSPARC II-based, NEBS-compliant (Network Equipment Building Standard), fault-tolerant system. Using Sun Microsystems’ UltraSPARC architecture, the Nuvo 100 offers high performance, scalability, reliability, and leading-edge networking support. It also features field-replaceable service modules, N+1 48 volt power supplies, and remote monitoring and control. For more information, visit the company’s Web site at www.mockingbirdnet.com.

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