CNET también está disponible en español.

Ir a español

Don't show this again

Christmas Gift Guide
Networking

VoIP gets a hand over network chasm

A telephone industry group settles on a standard way to help Internet-based phone calls travel between contemporary and century-old telephone networks.

A telephone industry group has settled on a standard way to help Internet-based phone calls travel between contemporary and century-old telephone networks.


Get Up to Speed on...
VoIP
Get the latest headlines and
company-specific news in our
expanded GUTS section.


The MPLS/Frame Relay Alliance expects to publish details of its I.366.2 Voice Trunking Format on Thursday. MPLS, or Nultiprotocol Label Switching, is software that a growing number of telephone service providers use to direct traffic over their networks.

The I.366.2 Voice Trunking Format is designed to provide a uniform way to carry voice calls over MPLS. The format also creates a bridge between old and new phone networks, according to Gary Leonard, MPLS/Frame Relay Alliance's vice president of marketing.

The alliance is tackling a technological trick for many telephone providers using , the world's most popular method for sending data from one computer to another. Although about 10 percent of all calls are now VoIP, or voice over IP, calls, an overwhelming number still travel the old-fashioned way.

Although the alliance's standard is not binding, Leonard expects it will have a major impact on the technology choices of its members, which include Verizon Communications, the largest U.S. phone company, gear maker Cisco Systems and long-distance providers AT&T and MCI.