Opportunities exist in bridging gap between voice, data, and Internet via IP networking

Clear benefits exist for Internet service end users in call center and e-commerce applications that provide integrated online browsing and telephony. According to a new report from Ovum, an independent telecommunications research and consulting company, carriers that want to compete in delivering service packages supporting these applications must invest in switching technology that bridges the gap between voice, data, and Internet platforms...and they must start now.

According to the report, Next Generation IP Networks: Service Opportunities from New Platforms, change is overdue and Internet protocol (IP) has provided a focus for that change. A first step is providing a link from the public-switched telephone-network (PSTN) service platforms to IP, allowing traditional telephony to be delivered to any IP access point that supports the required class of service. Although this provides a means for new entrant carriers to compete in IP telephony, it also opens the door to new applications that combine the best of the Web's worldwide marketing capabilities and security of a person-to-person phone call.

This revolution, better termed as a logical evolution, in developing "next-generation" networks has created a new battleground for carriers and a worldwide bonanza in the equipment market. In the report, Ovum predicts the market for devices that interconnect PSTN and IP networks alone will be worth $1.3 billion by the year 2006. Ovum also points out that there are no "killer applications" for that integration that have been proven, including the "next-generation" networks. Therein lies a huge opportunity for equipment vendors in IP technology.

This report, the first in a two-part series, is available by calling Ovum at (800) 642-6886, and more information can be found at the company's Website, www.ovum.com.

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