Sprint recently launched a managed IP telephony service designed to let customers transition to voice over IP without having to worry about maintaining high network quality-of-service levels over their corporate LANs or WANs.Sprint\u00a0recently launched a managed IP telephony service designed to let customers transition to voice over IP without having to worry about maintaining high network quality-of-service levels over their corporate LANs or WANs.Vendors tout VoIP as a way for companies to save on infrastructure costs by paring their separate voice and data networks into one unified network.Called Sprint Internet Protocol Telephony Services, the offering lets customers outsource their networks - end to end - to Sprint. The services include management, monitoring, maintenance and any necessary customer premises equipment to voice-enable a data network.Sprint's partner in its VoIP foray is\u00a0Cisco. Sprint will use Cisco's voice-enabled Architecture for Voice, Video and Integrated Data (AVVID) equipment to build converged customer networks.Once Sprint and Cisco have installed customer premise equipment, Sprint will manage the LAN and WAN portions of the customer's network through Sprint Managed Network Services. Connections between customer sites will be over Sprint's IP network.Sprint is combining its managed IP telephony service with its IP Class of Service offering, which Sprint rolled out earlier this month.IP Class of Service lets customers use as many as four traffic queues between Sprint's points of presence and the edge of the customer network. This lets users prioritize their voice traffic and video traffic. Once the traffic hits the WAN, Sprint officials say no queues or prioritization are necessary because Sprint's IP backbone has inherently good QoS.\n\n\n\n\n\n\nGiving voice to IP\nSprint\u2019s IP telephony services include:\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\u2022\n\nEnd-to-end management of customer networks.\n\n\n\n\u2022 \nA partnership with Cisco, using Cisco\u2019s AVVID VoIP gear.\n\n\n\n\u2022 \nQuality of service through Sprint\u2019s IP Class of Service offering.\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nA variety of carriers have leapt into the managed IP voice market recently. Verizon announced a managed IP voice service that involves Verizon monitoring and managing Cisco AVVID equipment on customer premises, as well as monitoring and managing WAN VoIP traffic.Two weeks ago\u00a0WorldCom\u00a0rolled out the WorldCom Connection Service, which lets customers make long-distance and local VoIP calls. WorldCom plans to expand the service to include video over IP by year-end.