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Level 3 Rounds Out VoIP Offerings

Level 3 Communications Inc. on Tuesday launched a toll-free calling service across the United States, rounding out its local and long distance voice over Internet protocol offerings.

The new (3)VoIP Toll Free service was unveiled a day after the Broomfield, Colo., company launched a calling service for international markets. In September, Level 3 announced a local calling service for the U.S. called (3)VoIP Marketplace.

Level 3, which sells to carriers that can then offer VoIP and data services to customers, uses its softswitch networking technology to convert voice signals to IP packets for distribution over the Internet. The packets are converted back as the call is moved to the public switched network.

"We now have a compelling combination of local and toll-free nationwide VoIP calling solutions that give customers the control they need to create new products and services," Sureel Choksi, executive vice president of Softswitch Services for Level 3, said in a statement.

The company was one of the first to build an IP telephony network and offer it to traditional carriers. "Today, (Level 3) has an advantage because their network is up and running and they can offer other carriers lower cost services," Norm Bogen, analyst for market researchers InStat/MDR, said.

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