RealTime IT News

DirecTV Broadband Going Vo-IP Route

In a move that signals an entry into the high-speed Voice-over Internet Protocol (Vo-IP) market, DirecTV Broadband on Tuesday announced a deal with Texas Instruments to roll out voice-enabled DSL gateways to residential customers in the U.S.

DirecTV Broadband, a satellite TV company which offers residential DSL Internet service, said the partnership with Texas Instruments would clear the way for the deployment of DSL gateways in late 2002. The gateways allows DirecTV Broadband to sell add-on Vo-IP services like data routing, support for two digital voice lines and home network interfaces.

DirecTV Broadband, a subsidiary of Hughes Electronics , said Texas Instruments would integrate the AR5V10 DSL gateway software into a complete third generation DirecTV DSL gateway for consumer deployment throughout the United States. "The gateways will also be equipped with home networking technology to allow the sharing of broadband content and services throughout the home," the company said.

"The future of DSL is the addition of value-added services, such as voice, to the data network to which we are accustomed. By working with DIRECTV Broadband, we are enabling the next generation of DSL equipment and deployments to deliver voice and data over DSL with home networking to consumers," said Joseph Crupi, VP of Texas Instruments' Broadband Communications Group.

Ned Hayes, CEO of DIRECTV Broadband, said the ability to offer voice services on broadband connections would "be a turning point for the DSL industry."

"By incorporating the voice service feature provided by Texas Instruments, we will soon be ready to launch a Voice over IP solution that our subscribers can use with a regular telephone. Our work to be one of the first providers to offer such a service is exciting for our company and our customers," Hayes added.

While Vo-IP via broadband has been limited to business services in the past, DirecTV is riding the wave of popularity for the services on the residential market. And, it's pinning its hopes on the user-friendliness of the installation process. "The service enabled by DIRECTV Broadband and TI, which can be installed by the user without the need to bring technicians into the home, is on the cutting edge, and should be well received by customers looking for additional phone lines for home offices, teen lines and other uses."

DirecTV Broadband was launched after Hughes Electronics acquired broadband provider Telocity for $180 million in December 2001.