Net2Phone already sells wireless VoIP services tothat are based on the Session Initiation Protocol, along with other cable-based phone services via a standard known as PacketCable. But the company says it can lower cable companies' overhead for providing phone services using Level 3's technology.
Under a deal announced Monday, Net2Phone will use Level 3's VoIP-enhanced residential phone offering as an addition to its existing cable phone services.
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Net2Phone said the Level 3 partnership will complement its existing relationship with IDT Solutions, under which the companies sell local and long-distancein U.S. metropolitan markets. Along with the Level 3 package, Net2Phone will also market its own VoIP Enhanced Local bundle, which includes local calling.
"Level 3's residential VoIP service will provide us with enhancements to our current telephony network, enabling us to accelerate and expand the availability of our telephony solutions to cable operators," said a statement from Stephen Greenberg, chief executive at Net2Phone.
Despite existing, analysts predict that VoIP calls will eventually surpass , thanks to cost savings of up to 30 percent. Thus far, consumer demand has been encouraging, providers say, and VoIP plans have been announced by all of the major carriers in the United States, as well as by their cable rivals.
The entry of cable providers into the market for, or Internet-based phone services, is expected to spur .