AT&T has announced its plans to upgrade its business Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services, claiming it's now the first IP service provider to interoperate with five of the leading equipment vendors.
Targeting small to large multinational and government organisations, AT&T says the new business VoIP offers equipment interoperability with Alcatel, Notel Networks and Siemans; the new additions to its prior system cooperation with Avaya and Cisco equipment.
Cathy Martine, senior vice-president of AT&T Internet Telephony, says the company's ability to work with the major equipment suppliers is a key component to creating a united platform in the IT work place.
"Our relationships and ability to interoperate with the leading IP equipment vendors are key to our strategy in developing the VoIP services and applications that businesses want," said Martine, adding "Working with them, we will help businesses migrate to a converged voice and data networking environment at their own pace."
AT&T claims the upgraded VoIP system will also allow for a more extensive set of "voice-enabled" services across its "managed data and virtual private networking portfolio".
Tom Valovic, program director for the IP Telephony division of International Data Corp, says business enterprise is a "critical segment" for VoIP development.
"AT&T's expansion plans and approach further validate the growing market and momentum for VoIP services," said Valovic.
AT&T states that in addition to its interoperability advances it intends to develop business applications to accommodate IP Centrex, call centre operations and teleworker solutions.
According to AT&T its new IP telephony service will provide business customers end-to-end VoIP in both wide and local area networks, with the option to run the service via the users existing data networks.
The company says that it will also introduce IP local call services later this year.