Comcast Tabs Alopa for VoIP Trial


Comcast Corp. has added Alopa Networks Inc. to the list of vendors for its voice-over-Internet-protocol trial in Philadelphia.

The MSO will use Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Alopa's "MetaServ" platform to provision customers for service when the trial begins sometime in mid-2003.

MetaServ is based on PacketCable technology, and it adds network management, security elements and mediation to the other operating and back-office systems.

Alopa CEO Michael Foley said that while the trial was not large in scale, it was a significant step for the company, which specializes in provisioning IP services.

"The trial itself is not a huge deal. It is a great stepping stone," Foley said. "It is strategically and critically important to our business for two reasons: First of all, it validates our voice technology, and secondly, it validates it with the largest cable operator on the planet."

While the contract is encouraging, the fact that Comcast is poised to close its merger with fellow MSO AT&T Broadband means further rollouts likely won't occur for the MSO for a while.

"It's going to take time -- it is going to have to prove itself," Foley noted. "The value to us is getting the technology in the field, and there are other big players that will ramp it up faster."