RealTime IT News

Networking, Internet Companies Push IP Telephony Standard

A number of leading networking and Internet companies are banding together to support a new standard that would ensure the compatibility of Internet telephony products.

ITXC Corp., Lucent Technologies Inc., and VocalTec Communications were joined Thursday by networking companies Ascend Communications and Cisco Systems, IP telephony supplier Clarent, Dialogic, Natural MicroSystems and Siemens.

Dubbed iNOW!, the standard will ensure that Internet telephony programs and the IP gateways that carry the traffic will all work together. Previously, Internet telephony products used varying standards and protocols to send the traffic. That usually required two computers to be using the same IP telephony software before voice traffic could be sent between the two using the Internet.

The move toward a standard began earlier this fall at an industry conference where Lucent, IP telephony carrier ITXC and VocalTec held a demonstration showcasing interoperability between their products. IXTC has already deployed IP telephony gateways from Lucent and VocalTec on its network.

The newest products from Vocaltec and Lucent are already supporting gateway interoperability. The remaining companies in the alliance have promised their future products will conform to the iNOW! standard.

Tom Evslin, chairman and chief executive officer of ITXC, said it was gratifying to see so many leading companies band together to help the IP telephony industry grow.

"This is a great holiday gift to the IP telephony industry and its customers," he said.