TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: SBC, Verizon, Qwest Quake in Fear

SBC, Verizon, Qwest Quake in Fear

Mark Hall (
Tue, 13 Sep 2005 14:43:52 -0500

Opinion by Mark Hall

SEPTEMBER 12, 2005 (COMPUTERWORLD) - ... as open-source private branch
exchange software with integrated voice-over-IP capabilities gains
adherents. "I believe they already know they're doomed," suggests
Brian Capouch, chairman of the computer science department at Saint
Joseph's College in Rensselaer, Ind.

Capouch argues that giant telecommunications providers and PBX
manufacturing goliaths don't stand a chance against perky start-ups
such as Huntsville, Ala.-based Digium Inc. and San Diego-based Four
Loop Technologies LLC, which does business under the name
Switchvox. Those vendors use Asterisk, an open-source technology that
lets companies replace their PBX systems and use VoIP to transmit
phone calls. Switchvox CEO Joshua Stephens says Asterisk lets you use
a standard Linux server to connect to your network via a T1 line for
traditional analog calls or to your Internet service provider to
support chat via VoIP. Switchvox's system also handles voice mail like
e-mail, meaning you can listen to it, forward it, store it and do
anything to voice messages that you can do to e-mail, claims
Stephens. Switchvox 2.0 ships at the end of this month and will add
conference-room, intercom, call-parking and other new
features. Pricing starts at $995.

Capouch says Asterisk and VoIP combined will do to the telecom market
what Linux, Apache, MySQL and other open-source technologies have done
to the data center: "radically change the landscape." Capouch shrugs
off the argument that perceived problems with VoIP call quality may
hinder adoption. "Cell phones have lowered people's quality
expectations," he notes.

Copyright 2005 and International Data Group (IDG)

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