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Bell Atlantic Offers Wholesale Gateway Services to Internet Telephony Carriers
'Open for Business' in Major Northeast Markets
March 27, 2000
NEW YORK - Bell Atlantic today announced the rollout of a gateway service that provides completion of phone calls made over Internet protocol (IP) data networks.
"We've successfully developed and deployed our platform for Voice over IP access services and now we're officially open for business to Internet telephony carriers," said Tom Caldwell, vice president for marketing of Bell Atlantic Wholesale Markets. The new platform will have the capability to serve multiple Internet telephony carriers.
Caldwell said iBasis Inc. is the first Internet telephony carrier to connect with Bell Atlantic to terminate calls on the new platform. Bell Atlantic is now providing termination in the Northern New Jersey and Philadelphia areas. The Boston, New York, Baltimore and Washington areas are expected to follow by the end of April.
"This agreement with iBasis is a win for both of our companies," Caldwell said. "iBasis is well established in the industry with exciting growth potential. And, iBasis gets access to Bell Atlantic's world-class network."
"Bell Atlantic has quickly established itself as a forward-looking leader, well-positioned to take advantage of the huge wave of voice and fax traffic that is already moving over the Internet," said Ofer Gneezy, president and CEO of iBasis Inc. "Bell Atlantic decided to work with iBasis as the first carrier on this new platform, because of iBasis' reputation as a
leader in Voice over Internet Protocol."
Bell Atlantic Wholesale Markets entered the IP telephony business a year ago, by providing termination services for ITXC Corp. in the New York City area. Bell Atlantic's platform, at that time, was built exclusively for ITXC, using earlier technology.
Bell Atlantic has just completed testing the new platform with ITXC, and will soon provide termination services for it, as well, in the six major markets. Bell Atlantic's network provides the interoperability and economies of scale required for a "carrier-class" service.
"The evolution of telecommunications from a dial-tone business to data-tone is accelerating," Caldwell said. "Bell Atlantic is moving aggressively to establish a strong presence in this new industry.
"Voice and data networks are rapidly converging," he added. "In the next five years, Bell Atlantic expects Internet-based calls will nearly double every year."
An IP telephony call can originate from a computer or a telephone through a gateway provided by the carrier. These gateways, along with IP network links, provide translation services between the traditional circuit-switched voice network and new IP data networks.
Bell Atlantic's wholesale gateway service eliminates the need for IP carriers to build and operate their own facilities to access customers in major markets throughout the company's region, which stretches from Maine to the Virginia.
Bell Atlantic is rapidly evolving from a voice telecommunications company that also carries data into a data company that also transports voice. The company is aggressively modernizing its network with the latest in data transmission and switching technology, including ATM (asynchronous transfer mode) and Internet protocol.
Bell Atlantic is at the forefront of the new communications and information industry. With nearly 44 million telephone access lines and 12 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.