Fonix Telecom Rolls Out Cutting-Edge VoIP Network

Atlanta-based Fonix Telecom has announced the rollout of its next-generation IP network, powered in part by Lucent technologies. Power figures in Fonix Telecom’s VoIP strategy in other ways, too, as it is currently in trials for a Broadband over Power Line (BPL) solution.

Fonix Telecom is a subsidiary of Salt Lake City Utah based Fonix Corp. and offers business and residential customers communications services across five southeastern states. Back in October 2004, Fonix Telecom announced FonixFone, which is its commercial VoIP offering. Fonix has now announced that its IP network infrastructure has now been completely deployed, thanks in part to technology from Lucent. Lucent’s Compact Switch is a key part of the solution and gives Fonix Telecom the ability to support both VoIP and POTS subscribers. With the Lucent technology in place, Fonix Telecom realizes its potential as a facilities-based CLEC (Competitive Local Exchange Carrier) and cuts the cord from its dependency on ILECs (Incumbent Local Exchange Carriers).

Victoria S. Mallcott, Director of Marketing at Fonix Telecom, Inc., told that Fonix Telecom performed a detailed evaluation of the leading VoIP soft switch vendors. “We identified the top three potential vendors and made an in-depth evaluation of the their equipment, company, pricing models, features, and functionalities,” Mallcott said. “Our analysis proved the Lucent integrated platform to offer the best functionality and overall performance.”

Mallcott explained that the Lucent solution is a distributed switch architecture, which provides redundancy and diversity. The switching platform will support both legacy TDM (time division multiplexing; POTS circuitry) as well as VoIP signaling (both MGCP and SIP).

Fonix Telecom expects that the deployment costs will be recouped from the anticipated revenues associated with the ability to offer retail and wholesale VoIP products. “As a facilities-based CLEC, Fonix Telecom will decrease costs and increase revenue, while at the same time provide the capability to maintain end-to-end control of customer services and improve time-to-market for next-generation products like VoIP,” Mallcott commented. “Additionally, Fonix Telecom will simplify network operations and ensure substantial growth potential for future IP-based services.”

Broadband over Power Line (BPL) also figures into Fonix Telecom’s VoIP future. At the end of December 2004 the company announced an expanded partnership with Duke Power to test BPL in the Carolinas across 10,000 to 15,000 homes.

Mallcott noted that Fonix has already successfully trialed VoIP over the BPL network. She also noted that so far they have not found any barriers to market for the VoIP over BPL network offering.

“Fonix Telecom, as a service provider on the BPL network, will market VoIP, Broadband, and other services directly to consumers,” Mallcott explained. “We expect the commercial release of the BPL network (with Duke Power in Charlotte, NC) later this year.”

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