Bandwidth.com Launches Developer Sandbox Program

Business VoIP network becomes a test-bed for innovative telephony applications.

 By Ted Stevenson
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The past couple of weeks have been busy ones at North Carolina-based full service business communications provider Bandwidth.com. The beginning of this month saw the launch of open-source VoIP management interface FreePBX 3.0, of which Bandwidth.com is a corporate sponsor.

Late last week, the company announced the establishment of its new, ongoing, developer sandbox program "to accelerate development of next-generation applications that are integrated with IP communications," according to a company statement.

The idea is to encourage and nurture innovative telephony-focused developers who are working on applications that complement and supplement Bandwidth.com's own in-house projects, such as fixed/mobile convergence, next-generation VoIP codecs, SIP-enabled SMS, and HD voice—and, of course open-source PBX.

Bandwidth.com announced two early choices of developer-sandbox-partners: Silicon Valley-based Ditech Networks, and Vancouver, BC-based CounterPath Corp.

Ditech's toktok Voice Web application—a server-based system for integrating voice with the World-Wide Web and a variety of Web-based applications—will be piloted on the Bandwidth.com network, where it will be available to subscribers and other developers.

Toktok provides single-number reach—with options to ring any phone you have—and single voice mailbox. It also enable voice dialing—as in "toktok; John Doe" to call a Google contact. It can even dial and add conference participants to a call already in progress. 'voice activates' a number of online applications, including Google Calendar and Google contacts.

In addition to Google Contacts, toktok also interoperates with Google Calendar: You can synch appointments by voice, and Calendar can alert you to current appointment by "whispering" a vocal reminder that only you can hear, during an active phone call. Whispering is also integrated with Facebook, letting you deliver messages to your friends—again, delivered vocally into an active call.

Further, toktok provides "voice notes" capability. That is, during a conversation, you say "note" and the application captures your thought and e-mails it to you. No paper or computer are needed. And, finally, toktok uses voice commands to get you to your destinations on the Web.

Also integrated into the Bandwidth.com network will be CounterPath's Network Convergence and Messaging Convergence Gateways. These fixed/mobile convergence (F/MC) applications allow IP PBX functions and SMS messaging to operate both on Bandwidth.com's VoIP network and over cellular mobile networks, depending on where the user happens to be.

CounterPath is the only F/MC provider we're aware of that offers both an enterprise-focused solution and a service-provider-focused solution. See VoIPplanet.com's coverage of the CounterPath F/MC offerings for details.

This article was originally published on Aug 10, 2009
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