Telecoms equipment giant Nortel has bolstered its IP offering by repacking its products under the IP Connect banner, and introduced a way for carriers to bypass paying incumbents for local access.
IP Connect attempts to help carriers position IP as offering a range of features rather than merely peddling the cheap calls angle. Nortel said it will offer services such as Internet call waiting, Internet fax and virtual desktops, supported by a family of IP gateways to link corporate IP networks with the voice infrastructure.
An IP Connect Gatekeeper offers dialled directory numbers to IP address mapping, directory assistance and gateway resource allocation.
Among the initial applications launched will be the I Tone fax over IP; Voice Button which enables surfers to connect to a help desk by clicking an icon on a company's Web site; plus Internet Call Waiting, offering callers a range of options via their PCs.
Virtual IP Networking enables carriers to sell IP based virtual private networks (VPNs) that can carry voice and data. Around 5,000 VPNs can be managed on one Nortel Passport 7400 or 6400 switch. Customer's existing data infrastructure can still be used to carry data traffic.
The technology is aimed squarely at IP tunnelling which network hardware suppliers, including Cisco and 3Com, are using to enable secure virtual connections.
Nortel said carrying voice over IP can enable operators to bypass having to pay incumbent operators to access their local networks. This can account for up to 30 per cent of the new operator's revenues.
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