RealTime IT News

The Power Behind NetZero's Dial-Up VoIP

UPDATED: United Online's VoIP for dial-up launch raised eyebrows last week because all other services require broadband.

When asked what made NetZero Voice possible, a spokesman for the ISP left it at "proprietary technology." A few days later, CEO Mark Goldston told internetnews.com that the service combined in-house technology with that of two outside vendors.

Today, we know one of those vendors. CrystalVoice said its Acoustic QoS software is helping ensure the voice quality for the new service. (A United Online spokesman said the identity of the other vendor may be forthcoming.)

CrystalVoice's application monitors voice traffic over the Internet and makes real-time data and acoustic adjustments to compensate for low-bandwidth and other problems that can degrade sound quality.

It's the first time CrystalVoice has licensed its software for a large-scale consumer offering. Previously, its products have been used by large corporations to support remote and mobile employees, contact centers, international operations and e-commerce.

The Woodland Hills, Calif., company was founded in 1999 by a group of digital signal processing experts. It counts several major hardware and software makers as partners, including Cisco , 3Com , Plantronics and Eutectics.

It also sells its software suite through a direct salesforce and a network of resellers. Recently, it has signed new system integrator partners in Singapore and Taiwan to expand its reach in the Asia-Pacific region.

"We are committed to helping NetZero achieve widespread success in any way that we can," Steve Zola, CrystalVoice CEO, said. "Beyond that, we are focused on expanding our presence in the areas of collaborative conferencing, enterprise communications, eCommerce, mobile/wireless communication and the SMB market."

Zola said the company is receiving a number of inquiries from service providers about using CrystalVoice technology for a number of applications.

"Broadband providers, wireless providers and satellite providers are equally challenged by the variability of Internet performance and its impact on voice communication," Zola said. "The key market need is the ability to securely deliver the highest quality voice experience possible, on any network, on any device, at any time."

Financial terms of the deal between CrystalVoice and United Online were not disclosed.