Jordan Telecom readies launch of IP telephony

Jordan Telecom is close to launching internet telephony for its broadband subscribers, making it one of the first operators in the Middle East to embrace the disruptive technology, voice over IP (VoIP).

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By  Richard Agnew Published  December 20, 2004

Jordan Telecom is close to launching internet telephony for its broadband subscribers, making it one of the first operators in the Middle East to embrace the disruptive technology, voice over IP (VoIP). The national telco recently recruited Alcatel and NetCentrex to integrate VoIP platforms into its core network. It says that the service will be ready to go live once the project is complete in January 2005. “Voice over ADSL is currently under implementation and we hope that in January, it will be in service,” Jean Marie Garcia, chief technology and logistical officer of Jordan Telecom, tells CommsMEA. The move, which will see the telco bundling voice calls with internet access for subscribers, forms part of ongoing efforts to expand its broadband service portfolio and limit the impact of the liberalisation of Jordan’s fixed line market at the start of 2005. The operator plans to launch the service to the residential market in Jordan, rather than focusing purely on the corporate sector. It is also testing the packaged delivery of video, voice and internet services across DSL and fibre networks with France Telecom, its minority shareholder. The softswitches required to offer VoIP are being supplied by France Telecom spin-off, NetCentrex, and will route calls to and from broadband users over the operator’s asynchronous transfer mode (ATM) core network. Alcatel has been recruited to integrate the network equipment while French hardware supplier, Sagem, is delivering shipments of home gateways and VoIP-enabled handsets. While Jordan Telecom has yet to gain regulatory approval for VoIP, the operator expects to receive clarification of the technology’s legal status shortly from the TRC. “Today, VoIP is illegal, but next year, PC-to-PC VoIP will be legal,” predicts Garcia. “The rules are not very clear but you can’t prevent people using the technology when the technology is happening,” he adds.

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