Fusion's intriguing P2P SIP solution

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Fusion's intriguing P2P SIP solution

Fusion Telecommunications International, Inc
. announced on Tuesday that it had acquired "proprietary intellectual property" that will allow Directed Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Internet phone connections between Session Initiated Protocol (SIP)-enabled devices without the need to route the calls through a network of third-party computers, as typically occurs in a peer-to-peer environment. P2P SIP? Very interesting. Who Fusion acquired was inexplicably "vague", so I shot off an email to Fusion asking them exactly whose P2P SIP technology they acquired.

According to their news release, "This technology will give Fusion the opportunity to expand its existing suite of paid service offerings and participate in the growing peer-to-peer telephony market through its efonica brand, including the free call segment now dominated by Skype," said Matthew Rosen, President and Chief Operating Officer of Fusion.

Fusion claims that the technology took more than five years to develop incorporating a "unique approach that builds upon globally accepted VoIP standards and seamlessly integrates with Fusion's carrier-class network and back-office infrastructure". Again, the release was inexplicable vague as to what exactly they have done from a technical perspective, but the P2P SIP certainly caught my eye.

They claim that Fusion's service offerings enable customers to make calls between any combination of computers, Internet connected telephones, wireless devices, and other SIP-enabled hardware. They also claim that when you place a call using Fusion's Directed SIP Peer-to-Peer (DSP) technology, it will automatically access a central registry for authentication, which they claim is more secure compared to many peer-to-peer alternatives. I'm uncertain whether this central registry is ENUM or some sort of derivative owned by Fusion however Fusion espouses their sophisticated routing engine that facilitates a connection directly between calling parties without having to go through another user's computer (Skype supernode) or calling device, as is required in other peer-to-peer models, such as Skype.

If I find out any more information on "whose P2P SIP technology" they acquired I will update this post. In the meantime, the rest below is from their news release that I thought was interesting.

"It is widely believed that SIP is quickly becoming the de facto VoIP standard for communication between VoIP hardware devices such as ATAs, IP phones, WiFi phones, and many new mobile and wireless devices," said Dr. Joel Maloff, Fusion's Chief Technology Officer. "Utilizing SIP as its standard gives Fusion the ability to provide services to the large and growing population of consumers buying SIP-enabled devices. Additionally, most VoIP hardware manufacturers are rapidly deploying new advanced SIP devices that will work with Fusion's service offerings. Fusion's technological strategy will allow us to continue capitalizing on the growing popularity of SIP throughout the VoIP industry, while leveraging the significant cost advantages of peer-to-peer," Dr. Maloff added.

Fusion believes that its technology provides several advantages when compared to other peer-to-peer telephony approaches. The Fusion approach is based on open standards and is designed to be interoperable with new technologies as they emerge. In addition, we believe it is more secure than other peer-to-peer services, eliminates the risk of potential damage to the end-user's computer hard drive, and does not require the consumption of significant Internet bandwidth, which can be attributed to other peer-to-peer services.

"With the addition of this technology, Fusion will be able to combine the advantages and excitement of peer-to-peer telephony with the efficiencies and professionalism of a 21st century carrier-class infrastructure. The result will be expanded features and a high quality service for consumers without the inherent risks and limitations traditionally associated with peer-to-peer," said Roger Karam, the President of Fusion's VoIP Division.

"We are excited to have reached an agreement to purchase the DSP software. We look forward to sharing our plan to use this new technology as we begin announcing our new service offerings in the near term. We believe that when added to our existing infrastructure, this technology enhances Fusion's competitive advantage in the VoIP marketplace," said Mr. Rosen.

The Directed SIP Peer-to-Peer technology acquisition is part of Fusion's continuing effort to differentiate itself from other VoIP service providers such as Vonage, Skype Technologies SA (recently acquired by ebay) (Nasdaq:EBAY), Google, Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG), AOL (NYSE: TWX), Microsoft (Nasdaq:MSFT) and Yahoo (Nasdaq: YHOO).

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