Marconi has revealed what it claims is Europe's first hosted key application.
Developed in conjunction with Mitel Networks, the Impact UltraKey aims to allow service providers to make a range of hosted voice and web services available over a common broadband connection. The application is regarded as particularly suitable for small and mid-sized enterprises (SMEs).
Impact UltraKey resides in a service provider network, providing traditional and advanced voice services through a simple broadband connection. As a hosted application, Impact UltraKey does not require any deployment of large physical equipment, expensive maintenance or staff involvement when a new line is needed.
Impact UltraKey is deployed through Marconi's SoftSwitch platform, which uses an SIP network interface to connect and manage all calls. A Mitel IP phone is used to connect to the system.
Once the system has been deployed, users can add bundled web access and voice connectivity from their provider over a common IP line. Marconi said this reduced network access charges and gave users extra voice functionality, including multisite interworking and integration of home workers, call routing services, voice messaging and auto-attendant.
"As the availability of broadband access continues to grow rapidly, service providers need to expand their broadband access portfolio of services to deliver hosted IP services," said Kevin Hourigan, vice-president of Marconi's SoftSwitch product group.
"The Impact UltraKey can deliver a variety of voice and web services to better meet the needs of small businesses who want technology that can grow as they grow."
As part of its ongoing partnership with Marconi to deliver IP services, Gamma Telecom is trialling Impact UltraKey.
"We continually strive to deliver best-in-class IP services to our customers," said Phil Corbishley, CEO of Gamma. "We believe that Impact UltraKey will help us to deliver a hosted service that will match the needs of SME customers."