Hughes Dials Net2Phone

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Hughes Network Systems became the latest to take a stab at
satellite-delivered voice, announcing a deal with Net2Phone Inc. to create a
service for its DIRECWAY broadband Internet service.

Hughes said it is the first satellite Internet-protocol voice scheme to use
bandwidth prioritization, which gives voice traffic priority over data to ensure
call quality.

Hughes has integrated Net2Phone's VoIP-telephony interface into its
voice-appliance terminal, providing service over its worldwide satellite
network.

Backed by Liberty Media Corp., Net2Phone offers voice service using broadband
Internet connections. It has an ongoing trial in Puerto Rico, and it has already
cut a deal with EarthLink Inc. to offer service in the United States.

Satellite-delivered voice services have met with mixed results in the past,
often hampered by latency as voice signals made the satellite bounce and high
subscriber costs.

The most notable has been the troubled $5 billion Iridium Satellite LLC
service once owned by Motorola Inc., which foundered in the 1990s. It was later
bought for $25 million by a private consortium and relaunched in 2001, providing
voice communications for the U.S. Department of Defense, among
others.

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