Nortel Touts New VoIP Technology

Nortel touted upcoming low- and high-end IP phones, including a new handset that includes a color touch-screen display at the Global Connect 2004 user conference.

June 8, 2004

2 Min Read
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Nortel Networks this week showcased new VoIP technology at the Global Connect 2004 user conference in Los Angeles.

At the show, sponsored by the International Nortel Networks Users Association, Nortel touted upcoming low- and high-end IP phones, including a new handset that includes a color touch-screen display.

Slated to be rolled out by the end of the year, the IP phone features a 5.7-inch display screen and full Web browsing and motion video capabilities. The handset, priced at $995, also supports wideband audio and includes a duplex speaker phone and optional Bluetooth wireless capabilities.

"Cisco [Systems] had a nicer phone than Nortel up to this point, but this changes that," said Stephen Murnane, senior vice president of Scottel Voice and Data, a solution provider in Culver City, Calif. Last fall, Cisco introduced the IP Phone 7970G, an IP handset that also has a color, touch-screen display. Murnane, who attended the conference, said the new Nortel handset will likely appeal to vertical-market customers such as hotels or law firms, which can use the new handsets to access custom Web applications.

Nortel also plans to add a low-end handset, the IP Phone 2001, which is scheduled to ship next month and carry a price of $145. Nortel's lowest-priced IP handset, the IP Phone 2002, costs $295.Also at the conference, Nortel demonstrated new features that will be available in version 3.0 of its Multimedia Communication Server 5100, which is slated to make its debut later this year. The platform provides multimedia, communications and collaboration applications to Nortel IP telephony users.

The new version includes dynamic presence capabilities, which automatically update users' availability status. For example, the system would automatically show that users are on the phone as soon as they pick up their handsets, without requiring them to change their status manually. Other new features include private chat rooms and point-to-multipoint video capabilities. The new system also scales down to 50 users, compared with 100 in the current version. All of the new features are based on Session Initiation Protocol (SIP), an emerging call-control standard.

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