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Satellite VoIP receives WTL boost

Enhanced results for users of European Space Agency services are the intention of recent collaboration between ESA and World Telecom Labs, the Brussels-based maufacturer of VoIP equipment.

World Telecom Labs NV (WTL), a Brussels-based manufacturer of VoIP equipment for telecom operators has recently completed a major development contract with the European Space Agency (ESA). The contract, under ESA’s Artes 4 program, provided joint funding for a series of developments designed to make WTL equipment perform a better job for telecom operators wishing to use emerging low-cost VSAT satellite services.

WTL has already established a track record in providing equipment for voice services using satellite trunking, but a key benefit in this area has always been the bandwidth-saving capability of WTL’s patented NOP (Network Optimisation Protocol). The focus of the ESA project was to prove that high voice quality and low bandwidth usage could be achieved on VSAT links.

Business Development Director Simon Pearson points out: “The lower price point of DVB-RCS equipment and space segment means that this will be of great interest to operators, particularly in the developing world. We have systems installed in countries like Congo, Ivory Coast, Mali and Pakistan where high voice quality at low bandwith-cost is critical".

For WTL, the crucial findings of the report were that WTL equipment management "consumes minimal satellite bandwidth and matches or outperforms regular SIP and H323 gear while using half the satellite bandwith." The project also included a live beta test by Xplorium, a satellite-based wholesale operator operating high capacity links from Africa to Europe. The test was successful enough for Xplorium to have deployed the new products throughout their network. This is the first project that ESA has funded in the area of VoIP and indicates a firm belief in VoIP as a suitable technology for use over satellite and in the capacities of WTL equipment.

* WTL provides VoIP switches, pre-paid applications and signaling gateways for emerging carriers and telecoms service operators. WTL has an installed base of 100,000s of voice ports with service providers worldwide, switching billions of minutes of VoIP traffic using WTL equipment.

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