Bell Atlantic Awards Three Contracts
For Internet Telephony Access Service
New System Will Give Internet Telephony Providers
Low-Cost Access To East Coast Customers
October 6, 1999
NEW YORK -- Bell Atlantic today awarded three contracts to establish a
system to handle voice calls and fax calls from Internet telephony service
The hardware and software provided by Cisco Systems Inc., Vocal Tec
Communications LTD and MIND CTI Inc. will provide the foundation for
Bell Atlantic's new wholesale voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) service.
This service will enable ITSPs to complete their customers' Internet-based
voice and data calls to customers on the public switched telephone
network without investing in additional network infrastructure.
"This is a significant step in our effort to offer Internet telephony
carriers cost-effective access to East Coast customers," said Tom
Caldwell, Bell Atlantic's vice president for carrier services marketing.
Cisco Systems Inc., based in San Jose, Calif., is the primary supplier that
will furnish the hardware for the platform, using its AS5300/Voice
Gateway and Open Packet Telephony
Vocal Tec, based in Israel, will team with Cisco on the project and provide
the platform, specifically the Vocal Tec GatekeeperTM. The gatekeeper
software will serve as the
"nerve center" of the voice network, performing
authentication, authorization and accounting, allowing for flexible call
routing and dialing plans, third-party billing/management, centralized
provisioning of gateways and the addition of new/enhanced applications.
The third contract goes to Israeli-based MIND CTI Ltd. MIND will
provide the billing solutions for a multi-ITSP platform and an interface to
Bell Atlantic's legacy systems. The MIND-iPhonEX system works with
the Cisco and VocalTec equipment, and is currently being used for billing
and management of millions of prepaid calling cards by a number of
Bell Atlantic plans to offer VoIP access services to carriers by the end of
the year in the Boston, New York, northern New Jersey, Philadelphia,
Baltimore and Washington, D.C., markets.
"We're genuinely excited about this new service," Caldwell
said. "It will allow ITSPs to buy voice and fax access services
directly from Bell Atlantic. This is a welcome, cost-effective solution for
Internet telephone providers. They will be able to reach customers in our
markets without having to build network infrastructure, saving them
potentially millions of dollars."
In July, Cybertel Communications Corp. signed on as the first carrier for
Bell Atlantic's VoIP access service on this platform. When Bell Atlantic's
VoIP platform is completed, Cybertel will be able to deliver Internet-
based telephone calls to the East Coast from anywhere in the world.
Bell Atlantic is at the forefront of the new communications and
information industry. With more than 43 million telephone access lines
and nearly 10 million wireless customers worldwide, Bell Atlantic
companies are premier providers of advanced wireline voice and data
services, market leaders in wireless services and the world's largest
publishers of directory information. Bell Atlantic companies are also
among the world's largest investors in high-growth global communications
markets, with operations and investments in 23 countries.