VoIP news tends to flow very freely whenever there is a major telecom conference. This week's SuperComm show in Chicago is no exception. Vendors of all stripes are blowing their horns in the Windy City this week with VoIP announcements that run the gambit from software to hardware to services and everything in between.
Zarlink Semiconductor announced a new Timing-over-Packet (ToP) technology that it hopes will alleviate synchronization and timing issues related to voice, video, and data services over IP networks. ToP can be distributed across asynchronous Ethernet, IP and MPLS packet networks according to Zarlink, eliminating the need for more expensive T1/E1 connections and GPS receivers. The ToP technology uses control software, clock recovery algorithms and a hardware-based processing engine. A master "clock" is encoded and transmitted over the packet network and then recovered at client nodes.
Microsoft's not so secret VoIP strategy also became apparent with its SuperComm announcements touting its triple play (voice, video and data)of services. Microsoft also referred to its triple play as SoIP, which stands for Services over IP. Deals were announcedby Microsoft with Sylantro Systems and Amdocs to develop and market VoIP solutions for telecommunications providers.
Further integrating VoIP into the Microsoft desktop, Nortel announced a new VoIP plug-in for Microsoft Outlook 2003. The Plug-in enables users to initiate a call simply by clicking on the contact name in Outlook. The Nortel Multimedia Office Client utilizes the 'Office Anywhere features in Nortel SIP based Multimedia Communication Server 5100 and 5200.
D-Link announced an expansion of its VoIP offerings with a new Trunk Gateway as well as an IP PBX geared for the SMB market. The DVG-3004S Trunk Gateway is a SIP-based solution to connect offices to each other with voice/fax services over IP. The DVX-1000 IP PBX is also SIP based and includes voice mail, conferencing, IVR/auto-attendant and Call server functions. The system can be configured via a web interface that is secured with the PBX built-in firewall.
For those that don't want to implement their own location based IP PBX, Lucent announced a new Hosted IP-PBX platform. The platform offers the promise of allowing service providers to provision VoIP services without having to make significant local investment in hardware and expertise. The Hosted IP PBX platform also includes "Mobile Extensions" which extends PBX functionality like 4 digit extension dialing and single voice mail box to mobile users.
Sun Microsystems announced the launch of its Open Service Delivery Platform Program which is intended to help carriers deliver VoIP and other next generation telecom services. The OSDP architecture is "end to end Java" with Sun's new carrier-grade Solaris 10 at the core.