Verizon to Work With Columbia University on VoIP Research

NEW YORK - Verizon Laboratories - the research arm of Verizon's Technology Organization - is partnering with the Department of Computer Science at Columbia University to conduct two research projects involving the technology known as voice over Internet protocol (VoIP), or packet telephony.

VoIP uses the same packet-switching technology employed to transmit data over the Internet to send voice phone calls over the Internet or telecom networks.

The research is being conducted under the direction of the renowned VoIP expert, Professor Henning Schulzrinne. The two projects - funded by Verizon Laboratories - will be in areas related to the overall development of packet-switched telephony.

One project will be dedicated to exploring security technologies, while the other pertains to research in the area of Presence -- a messaging technology that lets users or devices quickly find each other, no matter where they are. The results of both of these projects will have a large impact on future services offered by soft switches, which are packet switches used to provide basic and advanced voice telecommunications services. Verizon has begun to deploy these switches in some parts of its national service region.

The research program was established for the current academic year, the 25th anniversary of Columbia's Department of Computer Science, and involves the funding by Verizon of two graduate research assistantships at the school. All equipment and prototypes developed in the projects will be subsequently transferred to Verizon Laboratories for use in designing and deploying enhancements to VoIP technology. A $120,000 Verizon grant has been presented to Schulzrinne by Stuart Elby, vice president of network architecture and enterprise services at Verizon Laboratories. Elby received his Ph.D. from Columbia in 1994.

"We are excited to work with Columbia, Professor Schulzrinne and the graduate students there on a technology that holds such promise for us at Verizon and for our customers now and in the future," Elby said.

Schulzrinne said, "This project allows us to work on real-world problems for a very large-scale deployment, exploring how VoIP systems can move from laboratory and small-scale systems to serving a leading telecommunications provider."

With more than $71 billion in annual revenues, Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world's leading providers of communications services. Verizon has a diverse work force of more than 214,000 in four business units: Domestic Telecom serves customers based in 28 states with wireline telecommunications services, including broadband. Verizon Wireless owns and operates the nation's most reliable wireless network, serving 47.4 million voice and data customers across the United States. Information Services operates directory publishing businesses and provides electronic commerce services. International includes wireline and wireless operations and investments, primarily in the Americas and Europe. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.