Cox Business, a division of Cox Communications, announced that it is the first MSO to join the SIP Forum.

SIP, or Session Initiation Protocol, is a signaling protocol used for advanced voice, messaging and conferencing services and is the technology of choice for real-time multimedia communications in corporate networks. The SIP Forum's mission is to advance the adoption of SIP-based products and services through collaborative working groups with representatives from leading IP communications companies.

"Traditional telephone service is quickly becoming a thing of the past, and Cox Business is committed to delivering advanced IP voice services that meet the evolving needs of customers," said Kristine Faulkner, VP of product development and management for Cox Business. "Organizations such as the SIP Forum are extremely important for promoting thought leadership and encouraging additional innovation, development and product availability of new-generation solutions."

Cox Business launched SIP-based Cox Business VoiceManager in November. The platform integrates existing desktop phones, PCs and wireless devices and can scale to deliver productivity, mobility, business continuity and unified messaging solutions to small businesses and large enterprises, according to Cox Business.

Cox Business VoiceManager is currently available to business customers in Connecticut, Rhode Island, Oklahoma City, Okla., Omaha, Neb., and Wichita, Kan. The company plans to offer this fully hosted and managed IP telephony service in several additional markets by the end of 2008.

Cox Business' future product roadmap includes SIP trunking, a service that will allow direct links between the Cox Business IP network and SIP-enabled IP-PBXs. With SIP trunks, customers who wish to communicate with locations outside their corporate networks using VoIP can connect to service providers via existing data networks, eliminating the need for duplicate voice networks.

SIPconnect, an initiative of the SIP Forum, was designed to encourage a standards-based approach to SIP trunking. The SIPconnect Compliant program offers certification to ensure interoperability among equipment manufacturers, software providers and service providers, as well as to promote further adoption of SIP as the standard for VoIP communications.

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