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Companies Push For IP Telephony Standard

Lucent Technologies, VocalTec Communications and ITXC Corp. Wednesday started an initiative to push for interoperability among IP telephony platforms.

The iNOW! (interoperability NOW!) Profile, written by the three companies and with Australia's OzEmail Interline, is based on the International Telecommunication Union's H.323 standard as well as existing and proposed elements of H.225.0 Annex G.

As part of the program, participating vendors are provided with blueprints for achieving revenue-generating gateway to gateway and gatekeeper to gatekeeper interoperability. Companies who have already signed on include Alcatel, Analogic, Ascend, Cisco Systems, Clarent, Ericsson, Linkon, NetSpeak and Siemens.

The companies say while many firms claim they are H.323 compliant, they are not necessarily interoperable. To facilitate the growth of IP telephony worldwide, carriers are demanding that manufacturers quickly become interoperable to allow IP telephony calls to be exchanged globally. iNOW is targeted toward companies looking to fuel worldwide standardization.

"Our customers are demanding multivendor interoperable Voice over IP solutions," said Chris Schoettle, vice president of IP Communications, Lucent Technologies.

"The iNOW! Profile enables vendors to deliver 'ready-to-go' interoperable IP telephony products within the framework of the ITU H.323 standard."