Intertex Delivers SMB SIP

By Jim Louderback  |  Posted 2004-03-31 Print this article Print

Server"> Intertex Delivers SMB SIP Server This years VON show is all about SIP, the standard for VOIP calling around the world. But SIP has a problem, especially for home users: in most cases the SIP device has to be outside the firewall. That makes it hard for a home or office user to enable a single network to work with both firewall-protected PCs and VOIP phones.
Enter Intertex, who has developed a $200 firewall appliance and DSL modem that sits between your service provider and your network hub. The companys IX66 supports the SIP protocol as both a proxy and a registrar—or put more simply, it turns your home network into a SIP server.
Why is this a big deal? Well, today most SIP users connect to a server and PSTN gateway in the cloud. Turn your SIP phone on, and it connects with a server at your service provider—which often will charge you a fee for the privilege. If you want to call a PSTN phone, your SIP provider also typically provides a PSTN gateway, often connecting you to the plain old phone network from just a handful of locations in the U.S., meaning your call is mostly handled the old-fashioned way. When you run your own SIP server, you can choose the PSTN gateway you wish to connect with. If you expect that most of your SIP to PSTN calls will be to phones in Romania, youre free to hook the IX66 to a gateway provider in Eastern Europe, and thus end up with lower rates. But the fun really begins when you load the IX66 with Intertexs $500 SIP switch software, which is currently in beta. With this software, youre free to hook up with as many SIP to PSTN services as you wish. Contract with one in Britain, and get a local U.K. number. Keep the Romanian connection. Add an Indian one as well for an East Asian presence. Then instruct the router to send Western European calls to your U.K. gateway, Eastern European calls to Romania, and Asian calls to India. And because the SIP gateways can each give you a local number, you can receive local calls direct to your U.S. office—and route them accordingly. At least thats the plan. Its a bit pricey and complex for the average user, but sounds pretty cool for many small and midsize businesses. Well see how well it works, when the software ships later this year. I did play around with the demo on the show floor, and it was impressive. But I cant say whether it was all smoke and mirrors, or the real thing. Next page: Here Comes 100 Megabits.

With more than 20 years experience in consulting, technology, computers and media, Jim Louderback has pioneered many significant new innovations.

While building computer systems for Fortune 100 companies in the '80s, Jim developed innovative client-server computing models, implementing some of the first successful LAN-based client-server systems. He also created a highly successful iterative development methodology uniquely suited to this new systems architecture.

As Lab Director at PC Week, Jim developed and refined the product review as an essential news story. He expanded the lab to California, and created significant competitive advantage for the leading IT weekly.

When he became editor-in-chief of Windows Sources in 1995, he inherited a magazine teetering on the brink of failure. In six short months, he turned the publication into a money-maker, by refocusing it entirely on the new Windows 95. Newsstand sales tripled, and his magazine won industry awards for excellence of design and content.

In 1997, Jim launched TechTV's content, creating and nurturing a highly successful mix of help, product information, news and entertainment. He appeared in numerous segments on the network, and hosted the enormously popular Fresh Gear show for three years.

In 1999, he developed the 'Best of CES' awards program in partnership with CEA, the parent company of the CES trade show. This innovative program, where new products were judged directly on the trade show floor, was a resounding success, and continues today.

In 2000, Jim began developing, a daily, live, 8 hour TechTV news program called TechLive. Called 'the CNBC of Technology,' TechLive delivered a daily day-long dose of market news, product information, technology reporting and CEO interviews. After its highly successful launch in April of 2001, Jim managed the entire organization, along with setting editorial direction for the balance of TechTV.

In the summer or 2002, Jim joined Ziff Davis Media to be Editor-In-Chief and Vice President of Media Properties, including, Microsoft Watch, and the websites for PC Magazine, eWeek and ZDM's gaming publications.


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