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IMTC Establishes aHIT! Activity Group to Further IP-Centric Interoperability Efforts

SAN RAMON, Calif., November 24, 1999 - The International Multimedia Telecommunications Consortium, Inc. (IMTC) today announced that the organization will further IP Telephony interoperability initiatives through the establishment of the IMTC aHIT! (Applications on Harmonized Interoperable IP Telephony) Activity Group.

The IMTC aHIT! Activity Group identifies and documents interoperability requirements for service providers and vendors of voice over IP (VoIP) and multimedia applications. The VoIP industry will benefit from this group by eliminating standards incompatibility for service providers when dealing with multiple vendors, while vendors gain commercially viable interoperability with other vendors.

The IMTC aHIT! Activity Group is the redefined version of TIPIA (TIPHON IP Implementation Agreement), a group formed earlier this year under the leadership of AT&T and Telecom Austria. The newly formed aHIT! Activity Group has a broader mission with objectives to utilize open international standards.

"Open international standards are crucial to the development of these markets worldwide, and to giving multinational customers confidence that they can conduct business anywhere in the world using systems that communicate with each other," said aHIT! Activity Group Chair Ayse Dilber of AT&T Labs. "As a leader in VoIP interoperability, the IMTC looks forward to spearheading the development and testing of the technical requirements and applications that will be needed."

The IMTC aHIT! Activity Group will work closely with the recently established IMTC iNOW! Activity Group, which is dedicated to enhancing and furthering real world gateway-to-gateway and gatekeeper-to-gatekeeper interoperability and enabling voice and fax service over IP networks. IMTC aHIT! will also provide an excellent opportunity in which to bring a service provider's perspective.

"We are pleased to establish the IMTC aHIT! Activity Group within the IMTC," said Matt Collier, president of the IMTC. "The IMTC is committed, through the IMTC iNOW! and aHIT! Activity Groups, to furthering the development, deployment and promotion of seamless, reliable and interoperable IP-based telephony and multimedia communications."

The new aHIT! Activity Group will develop and publish IP telephony and multimedia interoperability technical requirements based on open, international standards. In addition, the group will initiate and promote participation in global testing and trials among IMTC member service providers and vendors. Working in accordance with the IMTC charter, the group will concentrate on the following areas:

  • Developing and publishing IP telephony and multimedia interoperability technical requirements.
  • Adopting, where relevant, existing standards and specifications such as ITU-T, IETF, ETSI-TIPHON, and IMTC iNOW! work.
  • Encouraging and defining global IP telephony and multimedia application trials between member service providers and vendors.
  • Providing a forum for open technical exchange toward resolving issues that may impact global interoperability for IP telephony and multimedia applications.
  • Supporting and promoting IMTC and ETSI-TIPHON interoperability events and encouraging service provider participation in addition to vendors.

For more information on the IMTC aHIT! Activity Group, or to subscribe to the IMTC aHIT! E-mail reflector, visit

About the IMTC

The IMTC is an industry leading non-profit organization involved in developing and testing IP and switched network multimedia interoperability specifications based on open, international standards. Through its formal working groups, the IMTC develops and facilitates specification and standards development, as well as hosts multimedia interoperability testing events and demonstrations throughout the world. Over the past three years, the IMTC has hosted more than 40 interoperability events to test T.120, H.320, H.323, H.324 and Voice over IP products and services for compatibility with each other. The San Ramon, Calif.-based consortium comprises more than 150 member organizations from around the globe. Membership is open to any interested party, including vendors of audio, document, and video conferencing hardware and software; communications companies; teleconferencing service providers; end users; academic institutions; government agencies; and non-profit organizations. The consortium's Web site address is