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VoIP Crescendo

With the increasing availability of broadband Internet connection, the buzz on Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) has reached an all time high.

Amid thousands of new digital tools, VoIP led the blaze of “ready for prime time” products at CeBIT 2005, the international technology trade show in Hannover, Germany. Vonage made waves with its cost saving calling plans, while Avaya and 3Com featured powerful, scalable phone systems.

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Global Symphonies

Unlimited calling within the United States and Canada, plus a dedicated fax line, is available for around $50 per month with Small Business Unlimited service from Vonage. Useful calling features include “Take Vonage With You,” which enables calling from a hotel room or anywhere that broadband access is available. Vonage will expand its offerings later this year with programs for small to medium enterprises. VoIP service for small businesses is also available from VoicePulse, Packet8, AT&T, and Verizon.

Converged voice and data services enable multinational organizations to reduce global telecommunications costs, reportedly by as much as 40 percent. Telstra’s T-VoIP is based on its global IP VPN (Virtual Private Network) platform, and is backed by service level agreements for the delivery of reliable voice service. Geographically dispersed PBXs can be securely connected over a VPN using T-VoIP, thereby avoiding the high price of international toll calls between office locations.

It’s an IP World

Integrated systems that take advantage of the versatility and economies of VoIP often provide more than cost-effective phone service. Additional capabilities include auto attendant, speech recognition with interactive voice response, call center functions, and simple Web-based management tools. Many of these systems conform to the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) international standard, for added flexibility and interoperability with other vendors’ equipment, services, and applications.

Snom Technology has packed a SIP-compliant iPBX into a single unit measuring just 3.5 x 3 x 1.5 inches. The Linux-based snom VoIP Box supports up to 50 users with voicemail, conferencing, and auto-attendant features. Systems start at $1,500.

Toshiba’s new Strata CIX670 Pure IP telephony system will support up to 670 ports, with more than 200 features and a wide range of applications. Pricing starts at $400 per user and is based on number of ports, options, and configuration. Compatible equipment includes the company’s WIPT2000 Wireless IP phone ($595), and a SoftIPT softphone client for PCs ($160).

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The multi-OS Convergence Applications Suite from 3Com delivers powerful communications applications to users of the company’s NBX and SIP-compliant VCX IP telephony systems. For example, VCX users can create a conference call by simply dragging attendee names across the on-screen client. The system also supports document sharing services and desktop videoconferencing.

In addition to compatibility with SIP-based phones from a variety of vendors, Avaya VoIP systems offer secure connections to remote workers through the Avaya SG200 Security Gateway and secure instant messaging. Avaya’s Extension to Cellular option will enable incoming calls to ring on both desk and mobile phones, and make outgoing cell phone calls appear like they are coming from the office.

The tremendous range of powerful, cost-effective VoIP systems and services available today, make it easy to find one that fits your communication needs and your budget.

High-Quality IP Phone Service from Vonage

Using an existing high-speed Internet connection, Vonage technology enables anyone to make and receive phone calls — worldwide — with a touch-tone telephone.

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Offering quality phone service bundled with enhanced IP communications services, our interactive communications portal is a gateway to advanced features only available through digital telephone service.

Utilizing our global network and advanced routing technologies, Vonage offers an innovative, feature-rich and cost-effective alternative to traditional telephony services.

For more information about Vonage’s products and services, please visit www.vonage.com or call 1-VONAGE-HELP.