GRIC, InterNAP to Deliver Carriers' VoIP Traffic

MILPITAS, CALIFORNIA (08/07/2000) - GRIC Communications Inc., a service wholesaler to ISPs, recently announced it will use advanced Internet routing services from InterNAP Network Services Corp. to deliver voice over IP and Internet roaming services to integrated voice/data carriers.

The goal is to let IP telephony users whose carriers buy wholesale voice-over-IP services from GRIC receive faster call throughput with better call quality.

To accomplish this, GRIC will employ InterNAP's Private Network Access Point (P-NAP) service, which bypasses public network access and peering points where traffic congestion and packet loss can occur. InterNAP's 18 U.S. points of presence have OC-3 connections to Internet backbone providers such as UUNET Technologies Inc., AT&T Corp., Sprint Corp. and Cable & Wireless PLC.

This direct backbone connectivity "eliminates the hot-potato routing scheme that is [the basis] of the peering system," says InterNAP president and CEO Tony Naughtin. That makes P-NAP "ideal for routing voice over IP."

Until now a bone of contention for voice over IP, call setup time should be reduced, says GRIC chief network architect Larry Palm. "End users should see lower latency, less packet loss and overall better call response" on voice-over-IP calls that go over the GRIC network, Palm says.

The service providers will also gain because network hand-offs will look more transparent.

"The benefit is that whatever major service provider [voice over IP] customers use, it allows us to look as though we're attached directly to their home network," Palm says. Users of a major ISP's Internet service will receive GRIC's voice-over-IP services on their home network instead of having to be handed off to other service providers, he says.

In addition to voice-over-IP services, GRIC also offers Internet roaming services, which let subscribers connect to the Internet anywhere in the world for the price of a local phone call. Users of this service would also experience better service from the GRIC/InterNAP partnership, Palm says.

Pete Dailey, managing partner with market research firm Frost and Sullivan in San Jose, says the expanded reach of the Internet roaming services brought by the deal should prove to be valuable to enterprise users more so than the improved voice-over-IP services.

GRIC's Internet roaming service is ideal for business users, especially now that InterNAP "gives GRIC more direct routes to various points of presence and gives them further reach beyond what they have now," Dailey says.

Better throughput of GRIC's roaming Internet service may also let the company lower prices, he adds.

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