Carrier Briefs

Despite experiencing frequent installation and provisioning problems, users are signing up for DSL services in droves. According to industry consulting firm TeleChoice Inc., there were 2.7 million DSL users at the end of last year in North America. The report says 700,000 DSL orders were provisioned in the fourth quarter. TeleChoice says that the incumbent local exchange carriers maintain a leadership role with 78 per cent of the market followed by competitive local exchange carriers with 21 per cent and interexchange carriers with 1 per cent.

RADvision Inc. this month will announce a software version of its Enhanced Communications Server aimed at companies that want to bring IP voice and video onto their data networks at the same time. ECS is designed to let users run a converged IP voice and video network from a single PC server, instead of running separate voice and video networks. The software can run on any Windows NT-based PC server, as opposed to RADvision’s embedded hardware version of ECS, which requires its own chassis and is aimed more at service provider networks. RADvision currently ships ECS as a compact PCI module for its ViaIP chassis-based voice/video product. Cisco Systems Inc. resells ViaIP, except for the ECS card, as part of its IP/VC 3540 videoconferencing system. The ECS software will compete with voice and video gatekeeper products from Cisco and VCon. The ECS software acts as an H.323 gatekeeper and provides standard call control and videoconferencing services for IP phones and conferencing units on an IP network.

Rapid5 Networks Inc. last week introduced the RCP-700 Rapid Convergence Platform, which provides Internet traffic offload, multiservice gateway functionality and broadband access concentration. Among other capabilities, the RCP-700 intercepts and packetizes data traffic before it hits a Class 5 telephony switch, providing relief from long-hold Internet dial-up connections. Rapid5 is targeting major incumbent local carriers with NEBS Level 3 and other certifications, and an open softswitch interface to accommodate products from multiple softswitch vendors. The RCP-700 is slated for commercial delivery around mid-year.