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09/16/2009

New XConnect Funding Boosts VoIP Peering Prospects

Direct connection, or peering, between VoIP providers has lots of benefits. In particular, calls between different providers' subscribers don't have to transit the PSTN (public switched telephone network). That's beneficial because each such transit causes their sound quality to deteriorate, and costs money. In addition, features such as presence detection only work over end-to-end IP connections. Thus given VoIP's cost-saving and other attractions during a recession, peering should be growing increasingly popular. A new investment in peering leader XConnect Global Networks confirms that notion.

The investment, by a consortium including Venrock Associates of the U.S., Accel Partners of the U.K., Grazia Equity of Germany and Crescent Point Group of Singapore, injects $10 million in Series B funding into XConnect. The London-based company will use the money to continue expansion of its so-called "Interconnect 2.0 portfolio," which includes carrier ENUM registry and multimedia hub services. More simply put, it allows VoIP providers to find out each other's subscribers' VoIP phone numbers, and also allows them to pass multimedia services and traffic to one another.

XConnect's overall set of services allows VoIP providers to interconnect in several ways. They can use private federations administered by XConnect. These are closed groups, typically of large carriers and cable companies. The groups have their own rules that determine such things as who pays what for delivering each other's traffic. Alternatively, they can use XConnect's SIP-based Global Alliance, in which providers deliver each other's calls either with or without payment to one another, or "settlement."

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Reports

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        This 18-page Heavy Reading Insider report, written by Robert Poe, analyzes the prospects for delivery of voice calls over cellular networks using LTE (long-term evolution) 4G wireless technology. Operators are originally looking to use LTE mainly for mobile data services, since a number of technical issues make delivering voice traffic over LTE complicated. The report describes the various options available to operators, and explains why they are likely to move to voice over LTE later rather than sooner. Information about the report is available at Heavy Reading 4G/LTE Insider.

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        This Heavy Reading Insider report by Robert Poe evaluates the impact HD voice will have on voice services providers ranging from traditional telcos to cable MSOs to cellular carriers to VoIP operators. The 20-page report also analyzes the role vendors' and providers' choices of codecs will play in ensuring that HD voice services can be delivered end-to-end, rather than only within individual providers' or enterprises' networks. It also surveys the HD voice efforts of 14 vendors.
        Information about the report is available at Heavy Reading Insider. A column about the report is available at Light Reading.

  • Disruptive VoIP Services: What Carriers Need to Know
        A report by Robert Poe for Heavy Reading, analyzing the innovative VoIP services with the most potential to disrupt the telecom services market over the next three to five years.
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