EmpowerTel Receives $54 Million to Fund VoIP

EmpowerTel Networks has received a round of funding totaling $54 million. The venture funding was led by investment firm Goldman Sachs, and includes investments from Morgan Stanley Dean Witter Venture Partners, Sony Corporation, Chase Capital Partners/Access Technology Partners, L.P., D.B. Alex Brown, Anschutz Investment Company and Sandler Capital. In addition, this funding includes participation by previous investors Battery Ventures, InveStar Capital and TeleSoft Venture Partners.

EmpowerTel Networks was created by the founders of Lara Technology, a developer of Voice-over-IP (VoIP) switching systems and silicon-based search engine technology for networking and telecommunications applications. As a base of its current operations, EmpowerTel has incorporated Lara's VoIP systems business division.

EmpowerTel Networks' flagship product is the Unified Services Exchange (USX1000), a complete carrier-grade VoIP switching system that delivers PTSN-quality (public switched telephone network) voice convergence over IP networks, providing the high quality, low latency voice transport for IP networks that is critical in achieving interoperability with existing PSTN infrastructure. Designed for next-generation communication service providers, CLECs, RBOCs, ISPs and Cable Operators, the USX1000 enables transparent migration of voice traffic to the existing IP infrastructure, allowing NSPs to retain their existing data and telecommunications investments.

Voice-over-IP is a term used to describe the convergence of simultaneously running voice, data and video over a single network using the Internet Protocol (IP) and its ability to deliver new world services. Market research surrounding VoIP has been very optimistic. According to the Gartner Group, VoIP call revenue is expected to reach $25 billion by 2003, up from $3 billion in 2000. IDC predicts that VoIP minutes of use will rise from 9 billion in 1998 to 93 billion in 2002.

For additional information, visit www.empowertel.com or visit www.laratech.com.