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IMTC BECOMES HOME FOR iNOW! IP TELEPHONY INITIATIVE
Industry Consortium forms iNOW! Activity Group to Provide Open Forum for Discussion, Development and Testing of IP Telephony Interoperability
Princeton, NJ and San Ramon, Calif June 7, 1999
The International Multimedia Telecommunications Consortium (IMTC) and ITXC Corp announced today that an IMTC Activity Group specifically focused on enhancing and furthering real world interoperability enabled by the iNOW! Profile has been established. The iNOW! Profile is a document that describes the choices within the H.323 standard, and other relevant standards a vendor may choose to provide gateway-to-gateway and gatekeeper-to-gatekeeper interoperability, enabling voice and fax service over IP networks.
The current version of the iNOW! Profile will be the initial input into the new activity group, forming the basis for study under IMTC's formal processes, with the goal of publication of an approved IMTC interoperability agreement. In addition, the IMTC will work with the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) TIPHON and ITU-T Study Group 16 to make sure the iNOW! Profile is harmonized with their specifications.
The purpose of the new IMTC iNOW! Activity Group is to:
Guide members to build interoperable IP telephony products based on the current and future iNOW! Interoperability Profiles as developed and approved by the IMTC Activity Group
Provide a forum for technical exchange to resolve interoperability issues that impact iNOW! profiles and telephony products
Define test plans, in conjunction with current and future IMTC test programs, by which the member companies can test their products for interoperability
Support and promote IMTC and ETSI TIPHON testing events that enable periodic cross vendor testing of products
Consider additional features and a wider scope in future iNOW! Profiles
Encourage companies to adopt the iNOW! Profile in their products
The IMTC, a 145-member global consortium focusing on the creation and adoption of open, international standards adopted by the ITU and other standards organizations, will provide a democratic environment where all vendors can equally contribute to the iNOW! effort that ITXC, Lucent and VocalTec began.
The IMTC is taking full ownership of all intellectual property created by ITXC to support the iNOW! initiative, including the iNOW! Web site, iNOW! logo and the iNOW! trademark.
The first IMTC iNOW! Activity Group conference call will be held at 11:00 a.m. EST on June 15, 1999. All companies supporting or considering support of the IMTC iNOW! Activity Group are invited to join. Detailed information about the call will be posted to the main page of the IMTC web site at
The first IMTC iNOW! Activity Group meeting will be held during the week of June 21, 1999 at the IMTC Conferencing over IP (CoIP)/European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) TIPHON interoperability event in Sophia Antipolis, France.
Many iNOW! supporters are current members of the IMTC. Supporters that are not currently IMTC members are encouraged to join the IMTC in order to actively participate in IMTC iNOW! activities, including international testing events, IMTC iNOW! Activity Group meetings, IMTC Forum events, and other benefits that IMTC membership provides.
ITXC, Lucent and VocalTec created the iNOW! Initiative in the spring 1998 to encourage interoperability between all IP telephony gateways and gatekeepers. Since then, 32 other industry vendors have committed to supporting interoperability by implementing the iNOW! Profile in their future products.
Tom Evslin, President and CEO of ITXC said, "Lucent and VocalTec demonstrated great industry leadership by developing actual interoperability and documenting the means used to achieve this in the iNOW! recommendations, which have received nearly universal industry support. The industry is now best served by opening the process for equal participation by all interested industry members." Evslin added, "IMTC provides an ideal, respected and objective home for the continuation of this effort."
"We're glad to have the iNOW! Initiative as a formal activity group of the IMTC," said Matt Collier president of the IMTC. "By providing an open forum for discussion, development and testing between vendors and users alike, we are helping make interoperable IP telephony products and services a reality."
"Lucent is supportive of broadening the reach of iNOW! interoperability to include well-established organizations like the IMTC," and Chris Schoettle, vice president of IP Communications for Lucent Technologies. "Lucent, VocalTec and ITXC realize that to promote global IP telephony interoperability organizations like the IMTC have to be actively involved in testing and promoting voice over IP products."
"VocalTec, Lucent and ITXC started the iNOW initiative to accelerate the availability of interoperable IP telephony solutions," said Dr. Elon Ganor, chairman at VocalTec Communications. "The IMTC will further this effort by managing testing, compliance certification and the initiative's continued development in an open standards environment."
"The pace at which the IP telephony industry moves forward is significantly dependent on interoperability. It is crucial that independent organizations, rather than individual vendors or service providers, manage the standards process to ensure that everyone has equal incentive to work towards interoperability. By taking on responsibility for iNOW!, the IMTC will accelerate the interoperability process for the industry as a whole," said Hilary Mine of Probe Research.
About the IMTC (www.imtc.org)
The IMTC is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting, encouraging, and facilitating the development and implementation of interoperable multimedia teleconferencing solutions based on open, international standards. The San Ramon, California-based consortium includes more than 145 member organizations from around the globe. Membership is open to any interested party, including vendors of audio, document, and video teleconferencing hardware and software, communications companies, teleconferencing service providers, end users, academic institutions, government agencies and non-profit organizations. Since 1996, the IMTC has hosted more than 40 interoperability events around the globe to test T.120, H.320, H.323 and H.324 products and services for compatibility with each other.
About ITXC Corp:
ITXC CorpTM is the tier 1 carrier of Internet telephony. ITXC's Internet telephony network with 139 PoPs in 36 countries is the largest in the industry. Its WWeXchangeTM Service provides wholesale call completion at exceptional prices and with consistent quality to any phone in the world using a combination of Internet telephony and traditional PSTN. Its customers and affiliates are traditional telephone companies, new competitive carriers, ISPs, prepaid calling card companies, call back companies, and newly formed Internet telephony service providers. Announced carrier affiliates include Bell Atlantic, China Telecom and Korea Telecom.
ITXC was founded by Tom Evslin in 1997 following his departure from AT&T where he developed the concept for and built AT&T's WorldNet ISP. Evslin joined AT&T from Microsoft where he was responsible for the "BackOffice" products. ITXC was founded with seed money from AT&T and VocalTec. ITXC has since been capitalized with over $33 million from an international group of venture investors and strategic partners.