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January 2007 SIP Magazine
Volume 2 / Number 1


Solegy Launches Free, SIP-based Softphone
By Mae Kowalke

Hosted VoIP solutions provider Solegy (news - alert) announced the launch of its free softphone, designed to run on Microsoft Windows. The softphone is based entirely on open source code, which can be accessed through Solegy's OpenSourceSIP initiative.

Solegy says the SIP-based softphone is completely compatible with the company's hosted ServicePDQ platform. The softphone also can be customized to include branded skins, instant messaging, and advanced account management features (e.g. pre-paid balance, one-click credit purchasing). Further flexibility is provided by the softphone's ability to be embedded in a Web page or distributed in a Windows or Mac OS X install file.

"We are making the Softphone available to everyone who wants to experience the ease of making VoIP calls through their computer," Solegy's CEO and co-founder, Eric Hernaez. said.

Hernaez continued: "This is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what we can create for service providers who want to adapt the Softphone for their customers. The basic Softphone we are offering can be customized to not only create a unique look, but to take advantage of the many service management features available in our hosted environment."

Solegy explained that SIP, which it describes as a peer-to-peer processing protocol, "allows next-generation services including VoIP, video, instant messaging and online games to take place through session initiation, modification and termination."



damaka Launches Video Mail with Its Peer-to- Peer VoIP Software

Communication and collaboration software company damaka launched its video mail service, which enables users to leave a video (and audio) message for their peers on damaka (news - alert) and to any other contacts using a regular Webcam. Video mail is a new addition to damaka's existing set of features, which includes IPTV, DialOut, video conferencing, desktop sharing, and FastFile transfer.

damaka offers its white-label, SIP-based, peer-to-peer platform for companies interested in jumping into the triple play solution with minimal infrastructure investment. According to damaka CEO Siva Ravikumar, Videomail is just one example of how damaka can help a small and mediumsized operators or new entrants in the telco market offer services that the incumbent telcos have yet to provide. Why spend time selling a voice mail service when video mail is already there for the taking?

damaka recently released its IPTV product, which provides users free access to BBC News, CNN-IBN, HSN, and many other channels. The company also recently released a bestin- class peer-to-peer multi-party video conferencing (H.263/H.264) as the cornerstone of its video offering.



SIPBox Named Polycom Certified Reseller
By Cindy Waxer

Specializing in Asterisk, the industry's first open source telephony platform, is just one of the ways SIPBox (news - alert) is attempting to establish a stronghold in the open source market. The end-to-end telephony provider, which designs, implements, and supports VoIP solutions for medium to large enterprises, announced it has become a certified Polycom reseller.

Polycom (news - alert) is a provider of unified collaborative communications solutions and offers a complete line of SIPbased desktop phones that are fully interoperable with leading IP PBX platforms. SIPBox recommends the use of Polycom VoIP phones in all of its telephony deployments, specializing in Asterisk, the industry's first open source telephony platform.

"Aligning ourselves with a leading technology vendor in the industry such as Polycom allows us to continue to provide our customers with flexible and cost-effective VoIP solutions," said Chad Agate, co-founder and CEO of SIPBox. "We believe that Polycom's line of SIP phones will support the business telephony features of Asterisk and meet the growing needs of the market."



WorldGate Communications to Debut Travel Version of the Ojo Video Phone

WorldGate Communications (news - alert) announced that it will debut a sample of a travel model for the Ojo video phone product line in January. Ojo is the first broadband vide-phone to feature a friendly and intuitive display that enables clear, realistic, face-to-face, personal communications experiences. Its features, sound and video quality are unmatched in other video phones; users enjoy full motion-smooth video with no jerkiness. In addition, Ojo customers are able to easily and simply connect their Ojo personal video phone to their broadband networks to experience trueto- life video communications.

The Ojo video phone is designed to conform to industry standard protocol (SIP) and utilizes enhancements to the latest technology for voice and video compression (H.264) to achieve superior quality at data rates as low as 100 Kbps. WorldGate has been awarded a patent for its distinctive design and has patents pending for its specialized technology. This unique combination of functional design, advanced technology and use of broadband networks provides real-time video communication experiences that bring families and friends closer together, and for the first time provides consumers with a high-quality, affordable video phone.



BEA Systems' WebLogic SIP Server Certified Interoperable with NEC, Huawei, and Convergin
By Patrick Barnard

San Jose, Calif.-based BEA Systems (news - alert) is continuing to play a key role in helping service providers all over the world quickly and efficiently roll out next generation services for their customers. The company has announced that it has completed interoperability testing between its WebLogic SIP Server - the industry's first converged Java EE-SIP-IMS application server - and the IMS service platforms of NEC, Huawei Technologies, and Convergin. (news - alert) The successful completion of this interoperability testing means these network equipment providers (NEPs) can now combine their solutions with those of BEA to deliver fixed mobile convergence (FMC) and telco SOA for carriers' pre- IMS and IMS networks.

"Operators will benefit from the industry's leading IMS application server platform, which provides a converged, single container architecture at their IMS Services Layer (versus multiple containers to achieve the same capabilities), which gives operators a lower TCO structure," Ken Lee, director of product marketing for BEA's WebLogic Communications Platform product family, told TMCnet. "BEA WebLogic SIP Server gives operators an edge with the most highly available platform, and a converged container with access to Java, Internet, SOA, IMS capabilities, which means more innovative, revenue-generating services."

BEA's partnerships with NEC (news - alert) and Huawei, (news - alert) in particular, will strengthen its presence in Asia. Lee pointed out that the company's penetration in the telecom OSS/BSS and IT side in the APAC region is already quite high.



Microsoft Unveils VoIP Solution as Part of Desktop Communications

Microsoft Corporation (quote - news - alert) has opened a private beta of its new enterprise voice communications server, Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007, to 2,500 IT professionals. Office Communications Server 2007 allows companies to integrate voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) technology into existing telephony infrastructure, eliminating the need for expensive network overhauls and also extending the useful life of existing investments. The new voice server will also allow workers to instantly launch a phone call from 2007 Microsoft Office applications, such as Office Word 2007, Office Outlook 2007 or Office Communicator, by simply clicking on a colleague's name to determine his or her availability and initiate a person-to-person or multiparty call.

With native support for Session Initiation Protocol (SIP), Communications Server 2007 and Microsoft Office Communicator, part of the 2007 Microsoft Office system, interoperate with products from industry partners including Nortel Networks, Alcatel-Lucent, Avaya, Cisco, LG-Nortel, Mitel Networks, NEC Philips Unified Solutions, Polycom, and Siemens Communications. Through these relationships, customers worldwide will be able to support VoIP using their existing desktop phones, data networks and time division multiplexing (TDM) or Internet protocol (IP) private branch exchanges (PBXs). Customers will also able to leverage the softphone capabilities of Office Communicator to make and receive phone calls from their PCs, eliminating the need to purchase expensive IP-compatible phones.



Zoom Technologies Lets Users Change their VoIP Service
By Patrick Barnard

VoIP (define - news - alert) equipment maker Zoom Technologies (news - alert) has begun shipping the Model 5800 Zoom VoIP Freedom, a nifty little analog telephone adapter (ATA) that lets a user choose which VoIP service they want to use based on their needs.

As the company points out, most VoIP providers tend to hold their customers hostage by furnishing hardware that only works with their service. Zoom's new VoIP Freedom, though, lets them choose from up to 25 SIP-based providers using a web-based chooser. Using the chooser (which allows for very quick and easy change in service provider) a user can choose VoIP services from providers in the Americas, Europe, and Asia. The chooser's menus are available in several languages including English, Spanish, German and Vietnamese. Once a user selects a service, the Zoom VoIP Freedom device automatically configures itself for that service. Best of all, there is no charge for registration - and the device itself costs only $59.

One advantage of the device is that it supports both VoIP and traditional phone service, and allows the user to use one or the other - or use both simultaneously. For example, someone can talk on the VoIP line but someone else can still make calls on the traditional phone line at the same time - plus it is easy to switch between the two. Thus the device enables a "second phone line" capability that isn't always found on other ATAs. Most VoIP customers (especially new ones) tend to keep their traditional phone service so that they continue to have access to 911 services. In the event of a power outage, the device will automatically connect to traditional landline phone service.

Another huge advantage of the device is that it lets cell phone users use the device as a bridge to connect their cell phone to their VoIP line, thus letting them make long distance calls using their cell phone via low cost VoIP.



AccessLine Migrates to SIP Network
By Cindy Waxer

Only a month after being awarded two U.S. patents for VoIP call processing and security, AccessLine Communications, (news - alert) a provider of hosted VoIP services, has announced the completion of a multi-year migration of its telecommunications network to the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) standard. Through leveraging its SBC technology and internal signaling, AccessLine can normalize complex SIP interoperation nuances and offer unified access to multiple VoIP domains via a single interconnection with AccessLine.

"Each network service provider presents a different combination and permutation of the myriad options and capabilities that can be supported over a SIP interface," said Jerry Knight, chief technology officer for AccessLine. "AccessLine's customers can reap all the benefits in reach, availability, features and cost of multiple carrier interconnections via a single interconnection with AccessLine. This can save the customer years in time to market and technical effort that can be re-deployed on other more valuable initiatives. This is of particular importance to customers with large call volumes, where redundancy and availability are primary concerns."

In addition to the unique "normalization function" that is inherent to AccessLine's SIP Network, AccessLine is able to deploy a much larger number of SBCs (Session Border Controllers) at a much lower cost than most other carriers. This simultaneously gives AccessLine both a cost and quality advantage. For customers of AccessLine's hosted SmartVoice Service for business, this means that the benefits of advanced business telephone service are delivered at a fraction of the cost of competing services. AccessLine's investment in its network migration to SIP means increased call quality, high availability and improved traffic efficiency.





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