Global Crossing lights VoIP gateway centers in Europe

Global Crossing Ltd. announced Tuesday that its Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) gateway centers have been activated in Europe.

This is the first time that the Bermuda-based telecommunication provider has carried VoIP traffic between the U.S. and Europe, said Tor Constantino, director of public relations for Global Crossing North America.

Global crossing offers VoIP technology to enable converged voice, data and video services over a single connection. The company's initial set of global services includes outbound international long distance, voice virtual private networks, toll-free calling, network call-center services, carrier PoP-PoP (point of presence) transit, carrier IP-origination, and mobile carrier services, Global Crossing said.

The European gateway centers are located in Amsterdam, Brussels, Copenhagen, Frankfurt, London, and Paris. The centers are connected to gateway centers in Anaheim, and Sacramento, California; Atlanta; Chicago; Dallas; Denver; Detroit; Indianapolis; Kansas City, Missouri; Newark, New Jersey; Philadelphia; Rochester, New York; Seattle; Tampa, Florida, and Washington, D.C. The connection of the European to U.S. centers allows for transcontinental VoIP service, Constantino said. Global Crossing has also lit a gateway station in Tokyo, in cooperation with Asia Global Crossing Ltd.

By the end of 2001, Global Crossing expects to light more gateway centers around the world to increase the range of its VoIP service area. New European gateway centers are slated in Antwerp, Belgium; Berlin; Dublin; Dusseldorf and Hamburg, Germany; Madrid; Milan; Oslo; Stockholm, and Zurich. South American centers will be opened in Buenos Aires; Caracas, Venezuela; Lima, Peru; Rio De Janeiro; Sao Paulo, and Santiago, Chile. Asian gateways will be lit in Hong Kong, Seoul, Singapore, and Taipei. An additional North American gateway center is also expected to be powered up in Mexico City in 2001.

The VoIP technology is layered over Global Crossing's own privately engineered fiber-optic network, allowing for all traffic to avoid the Internet.

"The system can handle a couple thousand calls per second," said Allan VanBuhler, VP of Product Development for Global Crossing.

Global Crossing aims to be able to handle 2 billion minutes of VoIP traffic per month by the end of 2001. The company's current capacity for VoIP traffic is 100 million minutes per month, VanBuhler said. Global Crossing currently has more than 100,000 customers on its fiber-optic backbone.

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