article

Finally, Level 3 Launches IP Voice Service; WholesaleOffer Comes First

Posted: 02/2000

Business News

Finally, Level 3 Launches IP Voice Service; Wholesale
Offer Comes First

BY KHALI HENDERSON

Level 3 Communications Inc.’s (www.level3.com)
long-awaited announcement that it will offer commercial availability of its (3)Voice
service delivered over the carrier’s end-to-end Internet protocol (IP) network came at the
end of 1999.

Promised as a fall launch, Level 3’s new service initially will be offered on a
wholesale basis to resellers, other carriers, enhanced service providers, fax service
providers, wireless service providers and CLECs in 10 major U.S. markets. It will be
rolled out to 15 additional markets by the end of second quarter.

"Ever since we announced the start of our network construction in the summer of
1998 we have been moving toward making this service available," said Kevin O’Hara,
executive vice president and COO of Level 3. "This new voice service will use the
same proven Softswitch technology over which we have already been carrying millions of
dialup Internet connections every day for our Managed Modem customers."

Level 3’s Softswitch-based network architecture currently processes more than a billion
minutes of Internet connections per month for Level 3’s Managed Modem service. (3)Voice
service will be carried over the same Softswitch technology to provide enhanced quality
and efficiency, thereby reducing the cost of carrying voice telephone calls.

Level 3 joins a bevy of wholesale carriers–large and small–that offer voice over IP
(VoIP) services, including Teleglobe Com-munications Corp. (www.teleglobe.com), NetWorks Telephony Corp. (www.networkstelephony.com), iBasis (www.ibasis.com), ICG Communications Inc. (www.icgcomm.com) and others.

A December report from The Phillips Group-InfoTech (www.phillipsinfotech.com) projects
the U.S. wholesale network services market will grow to $116 billion in 2003, up from $39
billion in 1998, primarily on the IP traffic volume strength.

One initial customer signing a contract for (3)Voice is Network Enhanced Technologies
Inc. (www.netinternet.net), an international
telecommunications service provider based in Los Angeles.


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