Level 3: Use VoIP for Toll-Free

Colin C.

Updated · Jan 14, 2004

Wholesale communications provider Level 3 launched a new service Tuesday that lets businesses use Voice-over-IP technology to handle calls to their toll-free numbers.

The new service, dubbed “VoIP Toll Free” promises to cut costs for companies and is being marketed to conferencing service providers, call center operators and voice portals.

Raindance Communications , which offers Web and audio conferencing services, is among the initial customers and will roll out a new platform that ties into Level 3’s network.

A spokesman for Broomfield, Colo.-based Level 3 was not immediately available for comment.

In a statement, CTO Jack Waters said the company believes it has “the industry’s most technologically advanced IP network and highest quality portfolio of market-ready VoIP services.” New services based on the packet-switched technology will be introduced in coming months, Waters added.

VoIP is grabbing the interest of business customers because it promises to lower usage fees due to the lack of regulation and network management costs because converged voice and data networks are easier to manage.

Level 3 said there are other advantages to its VoIP Toll Free service, which can also make a telecom system run more efficiently such as better control of call routing and faster delivery of new applications.

The new service is designed to complement Level 3’s VoIP Marketplace, a local calling service introduced in September.

In other VoIP news, Performance Technologies , a maker of digital signal processing products for VoIP, wireless and media applications, bought privately held Mapletree Network for up to $8.25 million in cash. The figure includes an allowance for an earn-out bonus.

Mapletree, which makes circuit- and packet-based platforms for telecom equipment makers and systems integrators, will become an operating unit of Performance Technologies.

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