Level 3 launches residential VoIP

Broadband killer app gets closer

Level 3 is launching a white-label residential VoIP service for partners to sell to residential customers.

Services will begin in the US during the second quarter of this year. They are branded VoIP Enhanced Local service and HomeTone. VoIP has long been feted as the killer app for broadband. It is also a major challenge for established telcos which face losing their lucrative international and long-distance call revenues.

Sureel Choksi, president of Softswitch Services for Level 3, said in a statement: "The US consumer voice market, which is valued at over $65bn per year, is on the verge of fundamental change. The growth of residential broadband access... is allowing a wide variety of companies to pursue the consumer voice market. We believe Level 3, with its extensive softswitch platform and local network infrastructure is in a strong position to capitalize on this trend."

Enhanced Local service is described as building blocks for companies wanting a do-it-yourself approach to residential VoIP using their own switching infrastructure. HomeTone is described as a simpler service.

BT will begin trialling its IP service "Communicator" in May in the UK - based on Yahoo Messenger it will also allow voice calls over a broadband connection.

AT&T announced on Monday that residents in New Jersey would be first to try its home VoIP service called CallVantage. Users will get an adapter to plug into their, or anyone else's, broadband connection. The service also includes IP-based voicemail that can be accessed through a web page. ®

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