Lucent Technologies has released its PacketStar IP Services Platform (PIPSP), a software product developed by Bell Labs that will allow Internet telephony gateways to interoperate with each other.
According to company officials, PIPSP solves basic interoperability problems caused by signalling, directory, and protocol incompatibilities between packet-circuit gateways from different vendors. In addition, the PIPSP software switch allows connectivity between the public switched telephone network (PSTN) and various Internet telephony networks.
The switch also allows for the creation of intelligent network services, such as call waiting, call forwarding, billing, and operator assistance -- over either the PSTN or an Internet telephony network.
Beta trials of the product will begin this month with general availability scheduled for the first quarter of 1999.
Analysts were positive but also stated that this is just the start in accomplishing wide-scale deployment of Internet telephony.
"It's a significant step in the right direction. With multiple protocols, the lack of standards, and the different implementations of standards, this type of product helps make interoperability transparent," said Tom Jenkins, an analyst at TeleChoice. "But it won't revolutionise the voice-over-IP marketplace," he concluded.
Jenkins also warned that using this software may also cause additional delay and latency in overall transmission, giving "reduced quality of voice transmission and video".