Mobile Telephony Channel Feature Article

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Mobile Telephony Feature Article


April 07, 2006

AudioCodes, Qualcomm Bring VoIP to EV-DO

By Robert Liu, Executive Editor

AudioCodes (News - Alert) announced on Friday that it is working with CDMA chipset pioneer Qualcomm (News - Alert) to bring voice-over-IP (VoIP) technologies onto the EV-DO platform.
At this week’s CTIA Wireless (News - Alert) 2006 show in Las Vegas, Qualcomm and AudioCodes demonstrated an end-to-end VoIP solution based on a revision to 1xEV-DO, the 3G alternative to GSM/UMTS (News - Alert) wireless mobile networks that is used by the likes of Verizon Wireless and Sprint. Unlike its earlier predecessor, 1xEV-DO Rev. A has considerably higher uplink speeds (12 times faster) allowing for the smooth, back-and-forth flow of packets. Sprint and Verizon have previously stated they plan to deploy Rev. A onto their networks later this year.
In a press release, AudioCodes said it is enabling the VoIP over EV-DO by modifying its Mediant media gateway product line to support the VoIP Enhanced Variable Rate Coder (EVRC) codec, developed by QUALCOMM. This enables VoIP handsets to communicate transparently over EV-DO Rev. A networks to AudioCodes' media gateways, allowing VoIP calls between legacy access subscribers and EV-DO Rev. A subscribers.
“AudioCodes' media gateway solutions are ready to terminate VoIP traffic over EV-DO Rev. A networks and provide the many benefits of using EV-DO Rev. A technology,” said Haleh Partow, Vice President of Technical Marketing for Qualcomm. Separately, Qualcomm announced on Friday that an even faster 1xEV-DO, Revision B, is on schedule for commercialization in 2007.
The news means carriers like Sprint can take a big step toward its stated goal of interconnecting wireless subscribers directly to VoIP customers, and in doing so bypass the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) and hence any associated interconnection fees. Last November, when Sprint Nextel first announced its joint venture with four leading cable operators, free wireless-to-VoIP calling was one of the highlighted synergies expected to result from the new partnership.
In a recent TMCnet guest commentary, Lior Aldema, Vice President of Marketing at AudioCodes, stated that it is still relatively early in VoIP’s development cycle and with the establishment of standards like the IP Multimedia Subsystem (News - Alert) (IMS) architecture, the industry stands at a watershed moment.
“There is industry talk that a number of carriers who had initially selected vendors for packet switching gear are investigating additional suppliers. Being early days for VoIP, this type of competition will drive further product innovation/application/services and could potentially increase competition for vendors.
“Facts, analyst reports, market predictions and current market conditions are all leaning towards a higher adoption rate of VoIP. Carriers who were slow to adopt VoIP are quickening their pace to appropriate the latest innovations and applications that the market has to offer. An additional factor is the availability of Legacy equipment is slowly being phased out. TDM switch vendors are beginning to announce end-of-life for their TDM equipment,” Aldema wrote.
Robert Liu is Executive Editor at TMCnet. Previously, he was Executive Editor at Jupitermedia and has also written for CNN, A&E, Dow Jones and Bloomberg. For more articles, please visit Robert Liu's columnist page.


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