ITXC moves into Zimbabwe with Net services

ITXC Corp., a provider of Internet telephony and communications services, completed a deal Wednesday with Zimbabwe Posts and Telecommunications Corp. (Zimbabwe PTC) for the delivery of international voice and fax calls using ITXC’s flagship technology.

Fixed-line networks in Southern Africa are overloaded and ITXC hopes to grab a share of the pent-up demand for services in the region. With a population of around 12 million, Zimbabwe currently has a teledensity — the ration of phones to people – of just two per cent, ITXC said. Zimbabwe PTC officials hope ITXC’s networks can give consumers high quality communications at a relatively low cost, according to a statement.

ITXC will link its gateway equipment with switches in Zimbabwe, connecting Zimbabwe PTC’s central offices directly to the Internet. The gateway converts calls between circuit-switched and IP (Internet Protocol) format for routing over the Internet and ITXC’s network.

The deal with ITXC will allow Zimbabwe PTC – the government-run carrier – to complete an additional 120 calls simultaneously coming in from around the globe into the country. In the future, the two companies will work to allow Zimbabwe PTC to originate calls to international destinations as well using ITXC’s infrastructure.

“We have a managing network built on top of the public Internet,” said Frances Ianacone, spokeswoman at ITXC. “By managing our network on top of the public Internet, we can deliver carrier-quality service.”

ITXC has already made deals with the state-owned telecommunications providers in Ghana and Gambia.

The company plans to increase the number of simultaneous calls it can handle by the end of the first quarter.

ITXC, based in Princeton, N.J., is at Zimbabwe PTC, based in Harare, is at