Ottawa-based start-up Vienna Systems has launched an Internet telephony gateway that can switch phone calls between the public telephone network and IP networks like the Internet.
Aimed at corporate users, Internet service providers and the major telcos, the Vienna.way gateway incorporates call processing software and digital signal processing, bringing functions like call hold, callforwarding and conferencing to IP networks. The company claims that, for a relatively small investment, ISPs and corporates will be able to provide business quality voice calls over the Internet or Intranets.
Kent Elliott, chief executive of Vienna, reckons the company will make money in the short term because people are trying to bypass toll charges on public telephone networks. But in the long term, he says ?many corporate networks will want to standardise their backbones on IP. IDC?s prediction is that in 1997 corporations will begin experimenting with voice over their corporate data networks." Elliott predicts revenues of upwards of $20 million this year alone.
?We don?t compete with Internet telephony providers like Vocal Tec," he added. ?Vienna.way is for much larger volumes of calls. We are aimed at corporates as opposed to individuals. The real competition will emerge when guys like Ericsson, Siemens and Nortel migrate their switched circuit call processing functionality over to IP.?
Vienna.way consists of server software that runs on an Intel PC running Unix or NT, software for each client desktop, one or more digital signal processing (DSP) cards, and one or more PSTN interface cards (BRI, PRI and T1).
The UK entry level price for a Vienna.way server, which includes a single DSP card, an eight-channel basic rate PSTN interface card and the software, is $16,100.
End users can interact with the server either through a traditional telephone or through client software installed on their PCs. They use any client software compatible with the Microsoft Telephony API or, in the near future, any H.323-compliant client software such as that from Microsoft and Intel.
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