Telia launches first SIP service - a voice-operated switchboard

Telia is now launching the voice-operated Telia Digitala switchboard as an IP-based telecommunications service. This service has an open IP-based service architecture based on the SIP protocol. Telia will be introducing Digitala in-house for 14 000 members of staff in Sweden by the spring of 2002.
Digitala has been developed over three years using the permanent Telia telecommunications network. Telia Prosoft, now known as Ki Consulting, carried out this work. Throughout this period, the service has been used by a number of Telia companies, as well as by a few external customers. Telia is targeting companies with 100 or more extensions. Both the service and the market will be broadened as the company is now switching to a SIP protocol-based solution on a computer network. Linking Digitala to other operators' IP networks and telecommunications networks, both within and outside Sweden, is now possible.
Digitala is entirely voice-operated, and anyone who calls simply has to say the name of the person he or she would like to talk to. The system then connects the call to the right number. Digitala also provides telephone number information and makes it simpler to intercept calls because there is no longer any need to key in codes. Instead, all you have to do is just tell the system you are going out to lunch or to a meeting, for example.
Telia expects the use of voice-operated services to become more widespread. This assumption is based on the greater mobility now available.
"A clear trend has developed from the increase in the use of mobile telephones - switchboard operators are being loaded down with more work," says Jimmy Kruuse, Product Manager at Telia Communications. "If, for example, people are sitting in a car or walking around the office with a cordless phone, they will often phone down to the switchboard instead of trying to find out a direct number themselves."
It costs SEK 2-3.00 to connect a call via Digitala. Compare this with making a call via an operator, which may cost between SEK 6.00 and SEK 15.00, depending on the size of the switchboard and the time of day when the call is made.
Jimmy Kruuse, Product Manager, Telia Communications. Try the system out for yourself - call him via Digitala on tel. +46 (0) 8 707 4940
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