10/19/2004 - Shelcomm is one of a growing number of IP Telephony service providers competing against the Goliath phone companies around the world in providing state-of-the-art telephony to users who need mobility, presence and a future direction for their business and personal telephone services. Shelcomm, located in Baldwin Park California, specializes in providing IP telephone service for a fraction of the cost of traditional phone service by tapping into the growing worldwide Session Initiated Protocol (SIP) infrastructure. Using a SIP capable VoIP gateway from Multi-Tech Systems, Shelcomm has tied together the elements necessary to offer world-class telephony to SME and SOHO users.
“By operating with a SIP URL, users can make calls anywhere in the world utilizing the Shelcomm services,” explains Michael Schelin, a Partner at Shelcomm. “It gives the users the portability needed, because all you need is an Internet connection to enter your URL address using any standard SIP IP telephone.”
“We have been in business for fifteen years in telecommunications and specializing in VoIP for the past year. We resell both Panasonic phone systems and Multi-Tech’s MultiVOIP Voice over IP equipment, which, when teamed-up, provide an efficient IP capable phone system for business users. We chose the MultiVOIP because of its SIP capability and outstanding features. We were able to use a MultiVOIP VoIP gateway on our own SIP network to evaluate it and gain experience that would be helpful in later installations.”
“Our customers are both business and residential. Their reason for going to VoIP is primarily cost savings. The number one challenge in selling VoIP to our customer base is education. We find that many prospects still do not know it is possible to use the Internet for telephone calls. Once they are aware that the Internet can be used for telephone calls the next challenge is to explain how it is done. For the residential user we offer basic IP phones and to the business user we can provide both IP phones and the Multi-Tech gateway, which interfaces to their existing telephone equipment: either key systems or PBXs.”
The Shelcomm system includes a Multi-Tech MultiVOIP gateway at their headquarters location which ties the PSTN to the Internet. The Multi-Tech gateway brings 130,000 Shelcomm phone numbers into the system. The MultiVOIP gateway connects to the PSTN using a PRI central office line and connects to the Internet via Ethernet for the IP side. Users can access the Internet for a VoIP call by calling into one of the local phone numbers and then entering the phone number to be called.
“Here is where SIP is important because our SIP proxy server is also connected to the Internet which then establishes the connection via another SIP device at the destination,” states Schelin. “If the user is calling a PSTN number at a remote location a local SIP server completes the call. If the call is to another IP phone on the Internet, our SIP server finds that IP phone and rings it. The ubiquity of the SIP infrastructure is what makes this all possible. Without this SIP presence virtually everywhere, local off-net calls could not be made. This is a very complicated format, but with the MultiVOIP gateway, it makes it look easy. I’d love to tell the whole world how well Multi-Tech has treated me. The bottom line is that I am a very happy camper.”
The IP telephony industry needs a foundation standard upon which companies can rely for rock solid interoperability between their equipment. Session Initiated Protocol or SIP is that standard. Equipment vendors worldwide are adopting SIP as the number one operational standard, and telephony service companies like Shelcomm are rolling out services utilizing the resulting infrastructure. SIP communications can occur between active SIP devices on private IP intranets or the public Internet. Each device is identified by unique IP/URL address, which allows them to communicate with other devices anywhere on the network by the inclusion of their address in a message. The SIP standard, primarily developed by the IETF SIP working group, allows for the interoperability of a large number of devices from various vendors with those devices being easily configured and automatically updated as necessary. A SIP device is basically some sort of computer optimized for SIP communications.
SIP devices can include SIP phones including mobile and cordless, PCs including desktop, laptop, and PDAs plus a growing number of PBXs and proxy servers. SIP services can include voice communications, video conferencing, voice mail, fax communications, SMS, multi-location paging, and email with user mobility for any or all of these services. SIP telephony services utilizing Voice over IP (VoIP) technologies offer the best business potential in today’s economic environment because they promise to be more economical at every level of implementation.
SIP telephony can be as basic as two IP phones with built-in gateways (connecting client-to-client) making free calls over the Internet. It can also be making calls between less expensive IP phones without gateways utilizing a telephony provider like Shelcomm to take advantage of their value-added services. SIP Telephony can be as sophisticated as users require with features such as advanced PBX and Centrex functionality, roaming, multi-party calling and many others. A SIP telephony call can be local in the form of an IP PBX that connects multiple IP phones within a business. A SIP call can be external in the form of an IP call anywhere on the Net. And, it can off-net to the Public Switch Telephone Network (PSTN) completed by a gateway such as Multi-Tech’s MultiVOIP.
“In SIP telephony the VoIP gateway is a key element that ties the system together,” concludes Schelin. “Because of its critical nature, the support for the gateway is crucial. In the case of the Multi-Tech support organization, I can’t say enough about the support we have received. They were willing to look at the facts and not just assume any problems were the other guy’s. As a result they worked with us and we fixed problems as a team.”
Shelcomm (www.shelltel.com) is a customer service orientated telecommunications company specializing in business and residential VoIP services by providing alternative phone communications that use the Internet to make and receive calls. Shelcomm allows easy portability, hundreds of numbers on one IP phone or hundreds of IP phones on one broadband connection. Moving is effortless and calls can be made anywhere in the world with an assigned extension. Shelcomm services can provide IP phones, utilize existing cordless phones with the help of HanyTone IP, provide a new PBX and connect to businesses using their existing PBX or key systems.
An ISO 9001:2000 certified global manufacturer of award-winning Internet, remote access, and telephony products, Multi-Tech Systems provides end-to-end solutions for small to medium-sized businesses. Multi-Tech’s products are available through a worldwide network of business partners (distributors, resellers, system integrators, ISPs, and ISVs), or in embedded solutions from OEMs.
Privately held Multi-Tech Systems has over 60 U.S. patents and numerous international patents. The company’s intellectual property portfolio includes patents covering transmission of multiplexed voice, data and video packets used in technologies such as Internet telephony, PC telephony, voice over IP or frame relay, and DSVD modems. For additional information, contact Multi-Tech at 800/328-9717 or 763/785-3500, via fax at 763/785-9874 or browse the company’s World Wide Web home page at www.multitech.com.
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