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Net2Phone, Liberty trial IP telephony

Wed, 06/26/2002 - 8:00pm
Susan Rush

Voice over IP service provider Net2Phone Inc. and Puerto Rico's Liberty Cablevision have launched a managed IP telephone service test, marking the first managed end-to-end IP telephony service over broadband networks, the companies claim.

The first call was placed yesterday by Net2Phone Chairman Howard Jonas in Luquillio, Puerto Rico to Liberty Media Chairman John Malone in the United States. The ceremonial call marked the official launch of the trial, which will run until October.

A call is placed from a subscriber's home using a telephone plugged into Motorola's cG4501 embedded multimedia terminal adapter device plugged in a cable box. Using Motorola's BSR 64000 CMTS/routers, the call is placed over Liberty's hybrid fiber coax cable network. The hardware recently earned DOCSIS 1.1 qualification.

The call is then routed to Net2Phone's managed softswitch, and then over the nearest IP network. From there, the call is transferred to the public switched telephone network and directed to a regular phone. Net2Phone has said that unlike previous trials, cable companies will not have to rack up capital costs to deploy the service. Through the outsourced service, the cable operator maintains ownership of the customer, service brand, Tier 1 customer and technical support, while Net2Phone supports the back office platform, switching and transport, ongoing operations and Tier II+ technical support.

"We believe VoIP economics far outweigh those of the traditional circuit switched networking providing cable operators," said Liberty's Malone.

Net2Phone's goal is to make its product a PacketCable-compliant architecture.

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