• United States

MCI beefs up VoIP offerings

Mar 31, 20042 mins

* MCI details enhancements plans to its VoIP offerings around the world

MCI plans to enhance its VoIP offerings around the globe in 2004, company officials told Network World’s ISP News Report in a recent interview.

The company’s VoIP product – called MCI Advantage – is a voice and data convergence service that has been available for a few years with different product names. The service uses the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) and offers edge-based media controls.

MCI Advantage is available over MCI’s public IP network here in the U.S. By the end of March, MCI is making that service available over its private IP network, too.

“We want to take that same strategy and expand it globally,” says Jim DeMerlis, MCI vice president of data and IP services. “Countries in Europe, Asia-Pacific and Latin America that have our public or private IP services, we want them to have the ability to do voice over IP. We have plans to roll that out later this year in the fourth quarter through 2005.”

DeMerlis says MCI will expand beyond its traditional VoIP services to include Centrex and PBX-type capabilities. The Centrex and PBX services will be available this summer here in the U.S.

MCI will offer its first VoIP services in Europe in the September/October time frame, DeMerlis says.

In a separate initiative, MCI plans to migrate its own voice traffic to its IP network core. Company officials said last year that they planned to have 25% of the carrier’s voice traffic running over its IP core network by the end of 2003. A company spokesman said MCI fell short of that goal but is still on target to move all of its voice traffic to its IP core by 2005.

Next up for MCI is the creation of new applications that will run over its global IP network.

“We’re looking for new applications or the expansion of existing applications that will run over our IP network,” DeMerlis says. “We have plans for other applications in the areas of conferencing, collaboration and unified messaging.”

MCI also plans to offer more IP-based services for call centers. In addition to VoIP offerings for call centers, MCI plans to offer rules-based routing, chat, e-mail and other services.

“We have a very focused effort to help call centers move to IP,” DeMerlis says. “Over 2004 and 2005 [we’ll] be announcing new offerings.”