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VocalTec, Lucent in Telephony Pact

VocalTec Communications, Lucent Technologies, and ITXC Corp. today jointly announced they will develop complete compatibility between VocalTec and Lucent IP telephony platforms.

Under the alliance, ITXC will operate as the carrier for the fully interoperable IP telephony network.

Cross-operability will be enabled for Lucent's PacketStar Internet Telephony Server for Service Providers (ITS-SP) and VocalTec's Ensemble Architecture for use in voice and fax communications, routing, authorization, authentication, accounting, billing, network management and settlement services, the companies said.

The initial phase of development is expected to be operable in the Fall of 1998, and the companies plan to run the gateways on ITXC's commercial WWeXchange Service.

"Lack of vendor interoperability has remained one of the single most serious impediments to the IP telephony industry," said Hilary Mine, senior vice president at Probe Research. "At the same time, no service provider wants to be locked into a single vendor. Lucent and VocalTec will enable ITXC to meet its customers' longer term requirements by offering not only vendor choice today, but also future-proofed interoperability on next generation networks."

"Until now these resellers, carriers, Internet service providers (ISPs), and other Internet telephony service providers have had the unsatisfactory choice of either being restricted to a single vendor with no possibility of second sourcing or running products from multiple vendors in parallel, incompatible networks," said Tom Evslin, chairman of ITXC Corp.

Israel-based VocalTec provides software for audio, video, data, and text communications operating between personal computers and other devices over the Internet. It also owns a minority interest in ITXC, a wholesale provider of Internet telephony services.

Lucent Technologies is a designer and implementer of public and private networks, using its communications systems, software, data networking systems, business telephone services and microelectronics components.