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Networking This Week: VoIP, Triple Play Take Center Stage At Supercomm

You could be forgiven if you think that the Supercomm networking show, held in Chicago this week, should be renamed VoiPFest. VoIP, converged networks, and triple-play services are where all the action is these days, and that's where all the news was at the show.

Microsoft's mantra has always been "follow the money," and so it should be no surprise that it's targeting VoIP. At Supercomm, the Redmond behemoth staked its claim to VoIP and other emerging advanced Internet services with a clear statement of its continued interest in triple play. It plans to provide carriers and service providers with software for the delivery of revenue-generating services over IP. As an initial steps, it announced that it will jointly develop and market an enhanced VoIP solution with Sylantro Systems for carriers and service providers.

Also at the show, Ditech Communications Corp. announced plans to buy session border controller maker Jasomi Networks for $20 million. Session border controllers (SBCs) are devices that optimize voice-based traffic over an IP network. The move helped further consolidate the VoIP hardware market.

Big-iron VoIP gear wasn't the only VoIP hardware news in the show, though. Vonage announced it is teaming up with Uniden America Corporation to develop a cordless phone to use with its broadband VoIP service The phone features a base unit, which can support up to ten cordless handsets, that plugs directly into a broadband connection or router without a standalone adapter.

Industry big-wigs had their two cents to say about VoIP and related technologies as well. AT&T chairman and CEO David Dorman said that telecom growth is directly tied to IP services, and he made it clear that a big driver of IP growth is VoIP. For example, he said, Comcast expects to offer VoIP to 15 million of its customers by the end of 2005, and to all 25 million customers by the end of 2006.

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