VOIP Community Looks to Interoperability

By Ellen Muraskin  |  Posted 2004-09-27
The challenge gathering critical mass over the VOIP landscape concerns interoperability. As chip, software and hardware makers build their IP PBXes, phones, terminal adapters, carrier softswitches, media gateways and application servers, how do they ensure that they support calls consistently?

The goal is to send calls, as the PSTN does, from enterprise to network to enterprise, or from network to consumer subscriber, or network to network, without dropping connections, exposing vulnerabilities, and ideally, without having to gateway out to the PSTN and back again when traversing VOIP carriers. Indeed, September has seen a rash of interoperability announcements, ranging from successful inter-vendor tests to vendor-sponsored and independent-lab testing programs.

Carrier Level 3 Communications Inc. announced a SIP interop testing initiative back in May, called (3)VoIP TAP (Technology Alliance Partners). Its aim: getting call centers, conferencing companies and hardware vendors to verify that their VoIP implementations work with Level 3s IP-based softswitch platform and VoIP services. On SepT. 20, CT Labs, an independent testing facility with a long history in computer telephony, announced a fee-based Interoperability Testing Program for manufacturers of IP switch platforms, aimed at verifying their compatibility with a range of IP phones, softphones, PDA phone clients, and wireless IP phones. And on Sept 22, AT&T weighed in with its own interop program, to see if hardware and software makers were on speaking terms with its own VOIP implementations.

Read about the AT&T announcement in Newsfactor Network.

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