Net2Phone, Hughes Deliver VoIP Via Satellite

Combining their respective expertise, Net2Phone and Hughes Network Systems (HNS) have developed Voice over Internet protocol service via satellite.

Net2Phone’s VoIP telephony interface has been folded into HNS’ DW6040 voice appliance terminal. The device enables subscribers of HNS’ Direcway service to access Net2Phone’s international long-distance service.

Previous satellite telephony systems delivered spotty performance because systems couldn’t diffentiate between voice and data packets. But this offering identifies voice packets and sends them over the networks first, the companies said.

It will be sold as an add-on and is expected to be popular in Africa, Latin America and other markets where land-based telecommunications and Internet infrastructure is under-developed.

A spokeswoman for Newark, N.J.-based Net2Phone said the product will costs approximately $400 for a four-port router.

“Our collaboration with Net2Phone extends the reach of affordable VoIP international calling worldwide, wherever there is satellite coverage,” said Matthew Mohebbi, a vice president with Germantown, Md.-based HNS.

In addition to its networking gear, HNS, a subsidiary of Huges Electonics Corp., makes equipment for DirecTV satellite television receivers.

“Net2Phone’s core competency has always been to layer voice over data networks,” said Yonah Lloyd, a Net2Phone vice president. “Satellite, especially in conjunction with HNS . . . is the next frontier in data networks that can be powered with voice.”

The alliance is the second between satellite and telecom companies this month. Earlier, PanAmSat said it has tied its satellite systems into Level 3 Communications’ fiber-optic network.

The move will improve delivery of video and data to PanAmSat customers — TV affiliates, cable programmers and news agencies, including ABC, HBO and CNN. The companies also signed an agreement to further develop and promote the system.

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