June 1, 2004

16 Min Read
channel news

By Khali Henderson

Level 3 Set to Offers Turnkey Partner Services

Level 3 Communications Inc. is gearing up to offer turnkey partner support services in third quarter for its (3)Tone Business VoIP services. The turnkey services are an expansion of the company’s Level(3)Enabled partner program announced in late March to enable resellers to access the carrier’s hosted VoIP platform as well as other core Level 3 services such as colocation and Internet Advantage.

Under the Level (3)Enabled Partner Program, partners control sales, marketing, order placement, customer installation, CPE sales and first-tier customer care and billing. The turnkey option enables partners to offload the billing and customer care functions to Level 3, which has contracts with third-party outsourcers. Services include billing invoice production, Tier 1 support and CPE installation. These support functions are known by their acronyms: Billing on Behalf of (BOBO), Tier 1 Support on Behalf of (TOBO) and CPE on Behalf of (COBO).

“The differentiator of our program is our ability to provide our partners the tools and programs to make it easy for them to do business with Level 3,” says Steve Stewart, vice president of Level 3 Channel Programs.

Co-marketing and demand-generation tools include list sources, “webinar/seminar in a box,” electronic newsletters, telemarketing scripts, premade radio spots, selling aids, total cost of ownership models and marketing collateral. In addition, the company offers co-operative advertising and market development funds to support the selling of Level(3) services.

Level 3 also is investing in a PRM to support its Partner Portal. “Partners will have the ability to get online quoting and pricing tools, access marketing programs and MDF funds and qualified leads, says Stewart, adding “The customized portal will recognize each partner and enable them to manage their own business.” Craig Schlagbaum, vice president of channel development for Level 3, says the core program includes “channel table stakes” for its partners.

He says the partners will be chosen in a selective manner and Level 3 will work with the partners to closely align each company’s mutual goals to ensure success and profitability.

Sphere Allies with U.S. Networks

Sphere Communications Inc. says it has added U.S. Networks Inc., a master services provider, to its alliance. U.S. Networks will combine its managed technology services with Sphere’s Sphericall IP telecommunications software. The companies say the result will be improved support for Sphere’s resellers, and the opportunity to target midmarket and large enterprise customers.

Under the master services-provider model, services are structured a la carte so resellers can work with U.S. Networks to deliver complete software, hardware and services packages to their customers.

U.S. Networks says it will rely on its network operations center, customer contact center and engineers so companies can roll out Sphere’s telecommunications solution more easily. “Sphere has created an architecture and approach to delivering true IP telecommunications, which enables organizations to improve performance and lower costs,” says Andy Cummins, CEO of U.S. Networks. “The combination of Sphere’s feature-rich telecommunications software solution, combined with our ability to serve as master services provider, results in greatly accelerated deployments of IP telephony.”

PointOne Debuts Residential, SOHO VoIP Services

VoIP network operator PointOne has launched VoIP technology for the residential and SOHO markets through U.S. cable operators.

The new StarPoint IP Home and StarPoint IP Office services allow cable operators to offer IP-based local and long-distance voice service to customers with a broadband connection. PointOne suggests the following pricing structures: $15 for residential access, with 500 minutes; $35 for unlimited residential access; and $50, which includes a free fax line and up to 500 minutes of fax time, for small businesses.

“The rapid growth of VoIP and broadband service represents a tremendous market opportunity for cable service providers,” says Mike Holloway, president and CEO of PointOne. “The market for voice services is at a turning point, and cable operators will be able to provide their subscribers with enhanced IP services from PointOne. … The ability to offer enabled voice services gives them an opportunity to reduce subscriber churn, with the triple play of video, Internet and now voice.”

Residential StarPoint IP features include voice mail, threeway conferencing and call return. The SOHO version is augmented with features such as abbreviated dialing, call hunt and reservationless conferencing.

MyPhoneCompany Forms Master Agent Program

MyPhoneCompany, formerly Talk(n) and part of Sipmedia, has announced its newly formed master agent program, which offers a combination of high commissions (20 percent) and quality marketing tools. “We’ve been waiting until broadband reached a mass-market penetration level before we suggested that it would be efficient for independent agents to focus their valuable time on our service. “We’re happy to say that day has arrived,” says CEO Alan Levy.

MyPhoneCompany costs consumers $29.99 per month. “You can make phone calls using your home account, your home phone number,” says Rob Wunder, vice president of marketing. Global users connect to the MyPhoneCompany Web site via high-speed connection, access their accounts and make calls using a USB headset or phone. All calls among MyPhoneCompany members are free.

One of MyPhoneCompany’s standard features is software that will send copies of voice mail to a user’s e-mail as a .WAV file.

MyPhoneCompany relies on proprietary software that uses a lower form of compression to get rid of the echo effect.

“MyPhoneCompany is personalizing local phone service like no other carrier on earth by offering features that people love to use, but have never had the chance to use before now,” Wunder says.

Uniden Delivers New IP Phone

Uniden America Corp. is offering its latest VoIP phone, the UIP200, through Uniden’s distribution partners for a suggested retail price of $149.

“Cost has been a major hindrance to the widespread adoption of voice-over-IP technology,” says Al Silverberg, president of Uniden America. “The UIP200 phone addresses the need for an affordable IP solution, helping to make VoIP a viable, attractive option for businesses today.”

The Uniden UIP200 is a SIP VoIP phone that is RFC 3261-compliant and can be used with an IP PBX or as an IP Centrex solution. Features include an integrated twoport 10/100 Ethernet switch, call waiting, speakerphone with echo cancellation and multiple language display.

Nuvio Introduces Two New Partner Programs

Nuvio Corp. has introduced two Private Label Partner (PLP) programs for broadband providers, which allow ISPs to offer businesses and residences VoIP services.

The first Nuvio PLP program is the Total Package, where Nuvio handles all aspects of billing, customer equipment provisioning and support. Nuvio even helps ISPs design a privatelabel signup Web page to be integrated into the company’s Web site.

The second package is the Nuvio PLP Custom Bill Program, where ISPs manage their own VoIP service and billing. ISPs can charge whatever price they determine for Nuvio’s VoIP services, then send customers one monthly bill for the bundled services. Nuvio says this program requires an upfront deposit and the purchase of customer equipment for provisioning and payment on the first and 15th of each month for each customer’s usage.

“We’ve tried to take every possible step to make both of our ISP programs affordable, simple and profitable for our ISP partners,” says Jason Talley, CEO of Nuvio. “The results of those efforts are two of the most competitive VoIP partner programs in the industry. No other company can compete with our programs; weve made it easy for ISPs to turn a profit.”

Pac-West, Level 3 Team on VoIP Offering

Pac-West Telecomm Inc. has joined Level 3 Communications Inc.’s Level(3)Enabled partner program. The program gives Pac-West access to additional marketing resources and sales support, including a new partner portal, training, demand generation, and marketing tools and sales incentives.

“As a Level(3)Enabled partner, Pac-West can build, expand, and differentiate its voice solutions using Level 3’s (3)Tone Business service,” says Andrew Crouch, senior vice president of Enterprise Voice Services for Level 3. “We look forward to helping Pac-West use Level 3’s (3)Tone Business service and VoIP platform to deliver its innovative VoIPpro solution to enterprise customers.”

Pac-West’s VoIPpro offers Internet applications and functionalities the company says were not previously available with circuit-switched technology. VoIPpro lets geographically dispersed companies connect multiple locations and teleworkers, saving capital and operating costs. VoIPpro users can access and manage all of their communications services in real time through the Internet.

Centrepoint Unveils VoIP Phone for SMBs

Centrepoint Technologies has unveiled its VoIP TalkSwitch 48-CVA, an all-in-one hybrid PBX that combines PSTN and VoIP connections. The phone costs $1,795, and is available through Centrepoint or its authorized resellers.

TalkSwitch 48-CVA builds on Centre-point’s TalkSwitch system. Its combination of PSTN lines and built-in VoIP trunks allows businesses with one to 32 phone users per location to maintain local calls on the public switched network while switching to VoIP for long-distance and interbranch calling, enabling companies to reduce the number of telephone lines and maximize use of broadband connections.

In addition to connecting branches, the TalkSwitch 48-CVA includes built-in remote extension capabilities that integrate mobile employees and telecommuters with the office telephone system.

The 48-CVA features auto attendants, call-routing, voice mail, four CO lines and four VoIP trunks, eight local extensions and eight remote extensions.

Up to four 48-CVAs can be networked to make a system with 16 CO lines and 16 VoIP trunks, 32 local extensions and 32 remote extensions per location. The system works with all standard analog and cellular phones, and includes free software updates.

Reynwood Launches Wholesale Program

Reynwood Communications Inc. has announced the launch of a wholesale voice platform. Reynwood CEO Richard Kelly says the company has invested $2 million in developing a hosted IP PBX platform. The company sells the service to businesses exclusively through agents and is extending the platform to wholesale customers.

Kelly says the platform will help other carriers that want enter the VoIP market, but lack the time or the capital to do so. In addition, Reynwood’s presence at telx, the interconnection provider based at 60 Hudson St. in New York City, will enable carriers to hook up to the platform with a simple cross-connect.

Yak to Offer VoIP Through Agents

Yak Communications Inc. expects to roll out its VOIP solution to consumers worldwide by September. The services will be available both through agents and retail stores.

The company recently completed the first phase of technical and engineering testing and has started market tests in Canada. Yak’s VoIP product will include features such as Caller ID, Call Blocking, Free On Net Calls and 911 operator services. Prices for the bundled services - including local, long distance and basic features – range from $24.99 to $39.99.

PRIMUS Signs Wholesale Deal with COMSAT

PRIMUS Telecommunications Inc. has signed an agreement for its Global Reseller VoIP product with COMSAT International, which plans to launch its VoIP product in Latin America.

The PRIMUS Global Reseller service enables broadband service providers, ISPs, cable companies and other service providers to private label PRIMUSs VoIP platform. The company provides network accessibility for the reseller’s customers and their VoIP traffic, and offers a Web-enabled tool to self-provision customers, set credit limits, manage billing and collections, provide real-time visibility into customer call detail records, and allow the reseller’s customers to view their CDRs online.

“The advantage to the reseller is that they can now enter the VoIP market with little up-front investment, immediately add a VoIP service to their core product portfolio, generate a new and incremental revenue stream from VoIP service, differentiate themselves from their competition with a bundled local, national and international service offering, and encourage customer retention with an enhanced product portfolio,” says John Melick, copresident of PRIMUS.

USA Datanet Launches IP Network Solutions Group

USA Datanet will open its SIP-based network to deliver VoIP and IP enhanced services to select wholesale and commercial markets through its IP Network Solutions Group. The service allows a carrier to take delivery of inbound calls from more than 1,800 rate centers around the country. Rate centers are aggregated into one virtual trunk group to be delivered to the carrier using whatever protocol desired. The service targets large and small carriers. USA Datanet says it will charge for usage, instead of imposing access charges. USA Datanet also can design, build and deploy IP telephony-based voice or data applications for customer, using its Ready Now Technology.

IceNet Debuts VoiceWorks Network

IceNet LLC has launched its enterprise-class VoiceWorks Network built to carry voice, data and video traffic, and introduced its VoiceWorks wholesale services, VoiceWorks Anywhere, VoiceWorks IXC and VoiceWorks IPCentrex.

VoiceWorks AnyWhere allows service providers to offer customers enhanced long-distance service and toll-free numbers. Calls are routed over IceNet’s VoIP backbone. VoiceWorks IXC has 25 gateways and about 130 PoPs nationwide and gives carriers and service providers a network alternative to current transport services. The VoiceWorks IPCentrex system supplies enterprise customers a turnkey application that includes billing and hosted-PBX options.

IceNet says its VoIP services can save business customers up to 50 percent on long-distance costs. The company says its products work with IP products and applications, as well as with legacy equipment.

Net2Phone Delivers Global Wireless VoIP Solutions

As a complement to its newly announced VoiceLine broadband telephony offering, Net2Phone announced plans to deliver wireless VoIP solutions to wireless ISPs, cell phone manufacturers, rural providers and wireline high-speed data providers worldwide. Net2Phone?s first customer is carrier and technology company IDT Corp., which plans to deploy commercial Wi-Fi phone service throughout the United States, beginning with the Ironbound area of Newark, N.J.

Wireless VoIP extends the reach of voice and data services by removing the necessity for copper or fiber last-mile access to the Internet. Net2Phone routes all calls over wireless IP networks to its SIPbased platform, which performs call management, provides billing, provisioning and enhanced services, and distributes the infrastructure required for interconnecting onto and off of the PSTN network. Features include inbound and outbound calling with phone number selection, call waiting, caller ID and voicemail.

Callipso Selects Sonus for IP Network Deployment

Wholesale carrier Callipso is implementing a nationwide, next-generation packet voice network with technology from Sonus Networks Inc. Callipso is deploying Sonus’ open services architecture to deliver VoIP services, including origination, termination, and SIP-based enhanced services into its nationwide VoIP network.

To build out its VoIP network, Callipso is implementing Sonus’ core trunking solutions including the GSX9000 open services switch, the Insignus softswitch and the Sonus Insight Management System. Network plans call for the deployment of Sonus’ Network Border Switching solution, which will allow Callipso to interconnect with other domestic and international carriers using VoIP, rather than circuit switching.

Callipso is deploying the Sonus infrastructure in five U.S. cities, enabling a SS7 interconnection capability that will support nationwide voice services and SIP-based enhanced services, such as prepaid calling, Web-based audio conferencing and, in later phases, hosted IP Centrex and IP PBX offerings.

Vonage, Wireless Telcorp Partner

Digital telephone service provider Vonage has created a private-label partnership with Wireless Telcorp Inc. to deploy broadband telephony service to Wireless Telcorp’s several thousand small business and telecommuterbased broadband customers. Wireless Telcorp will offer its broadband Internet subscribers unlimited local and long-distance calling throughout the United States and Canada for a flat rate.

Wireless Telcorp says it is the first fixed wireless broadband company with a small business/telecommuter subscriber base to partner with Vonage to offer affordable telephony service. Wireless Telcorp subscribers will be offered all five of Vonage’s full-featured, flat rate service plans - two for small business and three for residential.

All plans include standard and proprietary telephony features at no additional cost. Both business plans will include a free dedicated fax line. Wireless Telcorp customers will be able to choose any area code Vonage offers.


TelStar International and PointOne> are deploying the FlexControl session controller from NexTone Communications. TelStar says it will be able to increase its VoIP capacity by 50 percent. TelStar also says the company will save money as the FlexControl solution allows gateways to be used more efficiently because ports are not dedicated on a per-customer basis. PointOne says it is gaining greater control over its advanced routing capabilities between domestic and international networks.

Inet Technologies Inc. and Acterna LLC both have licensed Telchemy Inc.’s VoIP performance management software, VQmon. Inet is using the solution with its Spectra2 VoIP diagnostics product. Acterna is implementing VQmon as part of its HST-3000 VoIP testing solution.

Cinergy Communications, a regional communications service provider, has selected VocalData Inc.’s VocalData Application Service to support its enterprise-hosted VoIP service. The service is available to businesses throughout Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee and Ohio. Cinergy says it now can deliver a larger portfolio of enhanced IP voice, fax, data and video services, and provide a hosted PBX solution to midsize and large enterprise customers.

Enhanced Communications Group LLC (ECG) has chosen Greenpath Networks Inc. to provide its VoicePath solution for ECG’s hosted PBX and enhanced IP residential service. VoicePath is voice application server run on Greenpath’s managed IP network, offering carrier- grade voice services and applications without the cost of implementing a PBX system. The VoicePath product provides five-nines reliability and redundancy in network architecture.

Telco Global, a voice, mobile and Internet solutions provider in Great Britain, plans to use the Nortel Networks Multimedia Communication Server (MCS) 5200 to converge existing voice, data and video services onto one advanced IP infrastructure. The portfolio is an SIP-based media and applications server. Telco Global says its customers will benefit from flexible working arrangements, seamless communications across “smart” phones, PDAs, and desktop and laptop PCs.

deltathree Inc., provider of VoIP-hosted communications solutions for service providers and consumers, is using the IPeria Inc. ActivEdge voicemail software for its sales divisions. Features include Visual Voicemail - allowing subscribers to access voicemail messages with a computer and Internet connection - and auto-attendant, unified messaging, fax and more.

I.S. Associates Inc. (ISA) and TransNexus Inc. have formed a partnership, integrating their hardware and software. ISA’s billing solutions and TransNexus’ Open Settlement Protocol (OSP) solutions will allow both ISA and TransNexus to continue offering service providers dependable products that meet their growing and diverse needs, the companies say. TransNexus says the ISA TeleCount Billing and TeleCount Wholesale Billing products are perfect matches for its emerging telecom customers that need full billing feature functionality and reliability at a price that enables a rapid ROI.

Xspedius Communications has selected Atreus Systems xAuthority Service Fulfillment to launch its nationwide MPLS-based VPN service. Xspedius also will use Atreus xAuthority to deliver VoIP, PC backup and antivirus services. The Atreus solution allows Xspedius to activate IP services for its customers in 55 markets.

VoIP provider Broadvox has deployed the IP Unity media server Harmony6000 in its new VoIPover- broadband network to provision, bundle and customize unified messaging and auto-attendant features for its flat-rate consumer service packages. Broadvox plans deployment in 87 major markets by the end of 2004. Service is live in Ohio, Indiana and Michigan.


Buckeye TeleSystem www.buckeyetelesystem.comCallipso www.callipso.comCentrepoint Technologies www.talkswitch.comComrise Technology Inc. www.comrise.comCOMSAT International www.comsat.com.brforeThought.net www.forethought.netGlobalNet Corp. www.gbne.net.IceNet LLC www.icenetllc.comLevel 3 Communications Inc. www.Level3.comLevel 3 Communications Inc. www.Level3.comMetaSwitch www.metaswitch.comMyPhoneCompany www.myphonecompany.comNet2Phone www.net2phone.comNorthland Cable Television www.northlandcabletv.comNuvio Corp. www.nuvio.comPac-West Telecomm Inc. www.pacwest.comPeer 1 Network Enterprises Inc. www.peer1.netPointOne www.pointone.comPRIMUS Telecommunications Group Inc. www.primustel.comQuintum Technologies Inc. www.quintum.comReynwood Communications Inc. www.reynwood.comSonus Networks Inc. www.sonusnet.comSphere Communications Inc. www.spherecom.comTech Data Corp. www.techdata.comTelx www.telx.comTransPacific Telecom www.t-p-t.net/U.S. Networks Inc. www.usnetworksinc.comUniden America Corp. www.uniden.comUSA Datanet www.usadatanet.comVoEx Inc. www.voex.comWireless Telcorp www.wirelesstelcorp.comYak Communications Inc. www.yak.com

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