Covista Taps MetaSwitch

MetaSwitch has added another service provider to its list of customers. Today the company announced Covista Communications will integrate a next-generation network based on switching and applications technology from the vendor.

Covista, which has more than 200,000 subscribers and switching centers in three major metropolitan areas, offers local and long-distance services. The service provider is using MetaSwitchs Class 4/5 distributed softswitch and UC9000 hosted IP applications to reduce its network operating costs; facilitate new services including IP Centrex and a Web portal for unified communications; and free itself from using RBOC switching facilities.

MetaSwitch also is providing professional services as part of the deal, for which the terms were not announced.

MetaSwitch CEO John Lazar notes many CLECs are looking for new switching options in light of the phase-out of UNE-P. He adds that March 11, 2006 will be the final nail in UNE-Ps coffin. It is the date the people need to free themselves of unfavorable deals beyond that.

Lazar adds that there are a lot of interesting things going on in the CLEC space, and some very profitable business plans. Weve always believed in the CLEC space, he says.

MetaSwitch now has 20 UNE-P customers, he says, and those CLECs have an average subscriber base of 145,000, although the company caters to CLECs of all sizes. About 50 percent of MetaSwitchs customer base is CLECs; the other 50 percent is IOCs. But on a revenue basis, the CLECs account for more than half, since many of the awards from the IOCs are smaller deals.

Among MetaSwitchs other CLEC customers are Arrival Communications, a CLEC in the central valley of California; PCS1, also out of California; and Houston-based i3 Voice & Data Inc., which offers ala carte access to TDM- and IP-based switching facilities based on a “time share” concept to other CLECs. MetaSwitch expects to announce other CLEC customers shortly.

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