By Ellen Muraskin  |  Posted 2004-07-30 Print this article Print

Like its VOIP competitors, Ecuity also offers a range of single-user, consumer plans, both with Symphone Wi-Fi softphones and the more familiar, one-port terminal adapters for regular analog phones. They badly need to straighten out their branding. I imagine customers will have a hard time understanding which layer of their multilayered service is meant by V-Tone, which is Smart Call, and how the "V-Tone Office PBX" differs from the "V-Tone Centrex." The first, a more sophisticated service, goes for $35 per seat per month and includes a systemwide view of extensions in its Call Manger browser interface, the ability to make certain DID numbers ring multiple extensions simultaneously, and an auto attendant to greet callers from a main office number and forward to four-digit extensions. The V-Tone Centrex, for $25 per seat per month, is a more stripped-down hosted PBX.
Avaya is going to provide a VOIP solution at Toshiba headquarters. Click here to read more.
Ecuity is very worth watching, as it will make a good working lab for the mobile, multimodal edge of the VOIP frontier, where voice and data flow in two directions during one call. As a regional carrier 17 years old, it may show us where a small ILEC (incumbent local exchange carrier) can fit between the Big Four RBOCs (regional Bell operating companies) and the MCIs, Sprints and AT&Ts, also going after VOIP. As the company also owns and runs a network of free-to-consumer Wi-Fi hotspots in the Seattle area in local coffee bars and restaurants, it may also show us what there is to gain from Wi-Fi-VOIP synergies. Check out eWEEK.coms VOIP & Telephony Center at for the latest news, views and analysis on voice over IP and telephony.

Ellen Muraskin is editor of's VOIP & Telephony Center. She has worked on the editorial staff at Computer Telephony, since renamed Communications Convergence, including three years as executive editor. Muraskin's work has also appeared in Popular Science magazine and other publications.

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