A UK startup is aiming to stir up the Internet telephony market.
VegaStream, based in Windsor, is to produce an IP telephony gateway the company claims will lower the cost of IP gateway hardware and make it possible for ISPs to offer customers off-the-shelf IP telephony.
VegaStream has attracted #1.2 million of funding from technology venture capital firm MTI Partners, and hopes to bring two products to the Networks 98 show in Birmingham this June.
The Vega-Stream IP Gateway will give ISPs the chance to offer customers an "alternative international telephone network", according to the company.
In addition, the VegaStream IP Conferencing Bridge is designed to offer users of Microsoft's NetMeeting full speech conferencing, as opposed to the one-to-one chat capabilities it currently allows.
According to VegaStream, current gateway products are a combination of hardware and software running in an NT server environment, costing around #20,000 for a 30-user solution and taking up most of the space in a 5ft communications cabinet. VegaStream's IP Gateway uses embedded hardware to reduce the size and cost of the unit, which resembles a network hub (2in high by 17in wide) and will cost below #4,000 for a 30-user unit.
The VegaStream IP Conferencing Bridge is designed to fill a gap in Microsoft's NetMeeting PC conferencing product. NetMeeting allows multiple users to share the same screen over the Internet, but it lacks the ability to use voice conferencing, limiting voice to one-to-one chats. VegaStream's gateway extends this by allowing all connected parties to share voice, enabling true Internet conference calls with shared applications and whiteboarding.
The IP Conferencing Bridge is expected to cost around #6,000 for a 30-port system.
Mike Hafferty, chairman and CEO, claimed VegaStream is approaching the IP telephony market from a data communications point of view, concentrating on design and price, and bringing the technology from a corporate to an individual level.
Hafferty compared his technology to Cisco's pioneering bridge/routers grabbing the market from server-based software routing in the early 1980's.
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