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VoIP Week in Review from TMCnet
[December 15, 2006]

VoIP Week in Review from TMCnet

TMCnet Contributing Editor
This week, the VoIP Minute Watch brings you news from Toshiba, Verizon (News - Alert), Skype, Telchemy, Vonage and Nortel.

Toshiba launched the Toshiba Strata IPT2010-SDC IP Desk Telephone on Tuesday, a new IP-based desk phone targeted at small to medium-sized businesses. The system features an Analog CO line interface for local dialing, including emergency calls. The phone is also compatible with the company’s Strata CIX suite of IP business communication systems.

Toshiba’s new Strata IPT2010-SDC features a two-line by 24-character LCD so users can better view info as Caller ID and feature prompting. The device also features a full-duplex speakerphone; a handset/headset choice, off-hook dialing, hands-free use (not supported in analog CO mode), and ring tones (different for IP and analog lines).
Verizon Communications announced on Tuesday that Lawrence T. Babbio Jr. will be retiring from his role as vice chairman & president at the company by the end of the first quarter 2007. The executive's career spans 41 years in the telecom industry. Babbio currently oversees the Verizon Business and Verizon Telecom business units, and belongs to the Verizon Wireless Board of Directors. Verizon plans to announce the telecom's plans as its transitions following Babbio's retirement in regards to his replacement in the coming weeks.
Verizon made news again on Wednesday when it announced that it teamed up with Polycom in order to offer the Polycom (News - Alert) RPX modular conference suite, a new video telepresence system for more “lifelike” virtual meetings. The system was developed by Polycom and it is said to be enhanced with the use of Verizon Business' IP network services.

The new offering is comprised of Verizon Business' Private IP network and Ethernet services combined with Polycom's RealPresence Experience (RPX) suite of telepresence systems. RPX systems offer a simulation of a face-to-face telecommunication via a video transmission. They are sold as custom rooms with flat-screen projection displays, ceiling microphones and pop-up LCD screens for sharing data. The modular rooms come in six configurations and can accommodate from four to 28 participants.
Skype (News - Alert) made news Wednesday when it announced that it switched its business strategy a bit by offering for the first time a new annual, paid subscription Unlimited VoIP Calling plan. Skype will now give its users the opportunity to sign up for a whole year of unlimited SkypeOut calling to any phone within the U.S. and Canada for less than $15.

This offer ($14.95 per year) will be available until January 31, 2007; after that, the fee will go up to $29.95 per year. The regular fee for SkypeOut minutes within the U.S. and Canada is 2.1 cents.
The VoIP service provider then announced on Friday that its president, Alex Kazim, will be leaving the company to return to eBay, where he had worked for eight years. Kazin had joined Skype when the companies merged 14 months ago.

Following Kazim’s exit in January, Skype's chief marketing officer and director of Country Operations Henry Gomez will take over the president role. As president, Gomez will serve as an advisor to Skype's CEO Niklas Zennstrom and the principal liaison with eBay and PayPal.
Telchemy (News - Alert) launched the DVQattest/EN, a testing tool for VoIP, IP Videoconferencing and HD telepresence services on Wednesday. The tool branches off the company’s VQmon suite, which provides network assessment, pre-deployment testing, SLA monitoring and network troubleshooting for enterprise networks.
The new DVQattest/EN is comprised of a software agent that can generate up to 200 simultaneous VoIP streams, 20 coexisting high definition (HD) 1080p simulated IP video streams and a series of network diagnostic tests, with an interactive application for configuration and reporting.
Vonage (News - Alert) announced Thursday that over 93 percent of its U.S. subscriber lines are now equipped with E911 access. This feature associates a physical address with the calling party’s telephone number automatically. Vonage had announced back in October that over 91 percent of its U.S. subscriber lines were equipped with E911 access. Since then, the provider has added enough counties to up the total number of calling centers with emergency 911 service to over 6400.
The VoIP provider also voiced out Friday that it had to sign an agreement with the Attorney General of Florida, Charlie Crist that requires it to inform subscribers of differences between how the company and standard phone carriers provide those services.
According to the agreement reached by the VoIP provider and Crist’s office, Vonage will automatically offer E911 services to subscribers when they sign up and provide an address. Vonage also agreed to participate in providing more information to local emergency agencies so that its subscribers can be easily located and assisted whenever they are in need.
Vonage has reached agreements similar to this one with Illinois, Michigan, North Carolina and Texas.
BT and Nortel announced Friday that they have inked a new contract in order to launch a new VoIP, multimedia, instant messaging (IM) and mobile communications offering for enterprises in the UK.
The new, three-year agreement calls for Nortel and BT to converge multiple voice and data networks into a single IP-based network and develop new systems based on Nortel's portfolio and BT's networked IT services.
Don't forget to check out TMCnet’s White Paper Library, which provides a selection of in-depth information on relevant topics affecting the IP Communications industry. The library offers white papers, case studies and other documents which are free to registered users.
Today's featured white paper is brought to you by Solid Information Technology. To see for yourself, please click here.
Johanne Torres is contributing editor for TMCnet and Internet Telephony magazine. To see more articles by Johanne Torres, please visit her columnist page.

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