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March 14, 2006
By Paula Bernier
Tekelec today at VON announced new business from existing customer Vortex Broadband Communications. The vendor also has come out with several enhancements to the Tekelec 6000 VoIP Application Server, and introduced the SIP-based Tekelec Video SoftPhone.
Vortex Broadband Communications is deploying several Tekelec 6000 VoIP Application Servers to launch nationwide voice, broadband and hosted VoIP services. The West Palm Beach-based carrier is relying on the Tekelec solution to enable a complete feature set for its business and residential customers.
Mark Whittier, Tekelec’s vice president of corporate marketing, said Vortex is an interesting company because it has expanded its localized hosted VoIP business into a nationwide fixed broadband wireless operation. Vortex used WiMAX to deliver managed network services first to reach SOHO users, but it is expanding to also serve residential and larger business customers.
“What’s new here is WiMAX and fact that [Vortex is] delivering service via a managed wireless network, so you can control QoS. Also new is our product was everything they needed and more to go from a local to a nationwide service, said Whittier.
Vortex, a long-time Tekelec 6000 customer, is deploying additional Tekelec 6000 application servers to enable a broad range of residential and business-class applications including unified messaging, softphone, user-scheduled and on-demand conferencing, find-me and Web Portal capabilities that support visual voicemail, click-to-dial and integration of directories and calendars with telephony features.
“Tekelec’s VoIP Application Server is a major differentiator for our national service launch by providing the widest, most robust VoIP feature set available, particularly for our highest revenue-generating subscriber segment of small businesses,” said Todd Shepherd, president and founder of Vortex Broadband. “The reliability and scalability of the Tekelec 6000 has helped us to cost-effectively expand our services on a national scope and offer more advanced services and a better value than any other VoIP provider on the market.”
Vortex first deployed a Tekelec 6000 server in 2004 in a trial of its hosted PBX and VoIP services to businesses and residences throughout Florida. Since that time, the carrier has grown to offer fixed wireless-based voice, broadband, point-to-point, VoIP, VPN and Wi-Fi services nationwide. Vortex has deployed multiple Tekelec 6000 VoIP Application Servers to enable its national launch.
As for the Tekelec 6000 enhancements, release 5.6.2 of the application server adds support for multimedia, support for more SIP devices, end-user enhancements, support for IMS-compliant billing and more.
Tekelec has introduced video to the SIP-based Tekelec SoftPhone that integrates with the Tekelec 6000 Web Portal and Voice Assistant for multimedia communications. In addition, Tekelec now is offering the InnoMedia 5531 video desk phone.
Also on the endpoint front, three new devices expand the more than 40 devices approved for use with the Tekelec 6000. That includes the Linksys SPA-941 two- and four-line phones and the InnoMedia 3308 SIP phone.
And this new release of the T6000 allows mailbox sharing among multiple users’ phones and Web Portals, including shared message-waiting indication and notification via Web Portal and voice mail announcements when a mailbox is full. There are also more language choices, including Mandarin Chinese. And E911 enhancements let emergency service operators reconnect with emergency service callers while bypassing call-rejection features.
Also new is IMS-compliant billing for the T6000. It adds the P-mobile number and P-charging vector to allow for better recording and management of billing records across multiple IMS-based platforms. Rob Russell, Tekelec’s director of product marketing for the switching group, said since the IMS architecture includes different platforms, those platforms have to share information related to billing. Tekelec is supporting that IMS billing capability first in its T6000, but will add it later to the rest of the product line, he said.
Finally, a new product called the Tekelec 8200 supports up to 16 T1 or E1 ports and joins more than 12 gateways that operate with the Tekelec 6000, including the Tekelec 9000 Distributed Switching Solution and Tekelec 7000 Class 5 Packet Switch.
In 2005, the Tekelec 6000 customer base increased by 84 percent, while the number of sold subscriber licensees increased by 90 percent.
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