And Leon Is Getting Larger OK, so that’s an obscure reference from the first (and best) "Airplane" movie. In the real world, a pair of competitive local exchange carriers – CLECs, for those of us who talk telco – have joined to make a bigger impression on business customers. US LEC and PAETEC joined forces to create a $1 billion-per-year company in what Richard Aab, US LEC’s current chairman and soon-to-be-vice chairman of the new PAETEC, described as a "transformational event." The reasons for getting together were the same tune played a thousand times over … "cost saving synergies," according to Arunas Chesonis, chairman/CEO of PAETEC. "This combination clearly has the strategic and financial rationale to create long-term value for our shareholders, customers and employees," he said, while only alluding to the fact that some of the latter (employees) will gain more value from unemployment checks than the new PAETEC. "There are also significant savings to be derived from redundancies in corporate overhead (read that ‘people’) and infrastructure." Telco Talk Patton Electronics, which styles itself as "the leader in network connectivity and VoIP solutions" is taking orders for its new PRI VoIP gateway, the SmartNode SN4960 T-1/E-1/PRI VoIP IAD, which, when it’s available in October, will deliver 30 to 120 concurrent VoIP calls with QoS, traffic shaping, voice-over-VPN, security and voice encoding …. The world-renowned Rawabi Telecom and Software (RTS) subsidiary of Saudi Arabia’s Rawabi Holding Company has selected Pactolus Communications Software Corp.‘s SIPWare Services and RapidFLEX service creation tools as part of a move to offer a range of IP services including voice over broadband telephone, IP conferencing, and prepaid calling to customers throughout the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar (and has anyone ever explained why there’s no "U" following that "Q"?) and Kuwait via a growing network of service provider partners …. Inter-Tel will use Viola Networks‘ NetAlly Lifecycle Manager (which is not a stationary bike) as the foundation for VoIP network assessment services …. And finally, you can exhale because AudioCodes has completed its acquisition of session border control (SBC) vendor Netrake. Skype News Logitech and US Robotics have joined the Skype bandwagon with certified hardware products. Logitech’s include a combination mouse, keyboard, headset and speakerphone; a cordless Internet handset; and a cordless headset for PC and mobile phones. US Robotics is shipping a USB Internet phone and a USB Internet mini-phone. The latter, the vendor said in a seemingly transparent shot at Logitech’s new products, serves as an alternative to expensive headsets. Go West, Phone Customers SureWest has expanded its voice and Internet services to roughly 10,000 businesses in the Sacramento metropolitan area using its IP network and dynamic bandwidth allocation and circuit bonding over Type II T-1 circuits …. While not quite so far out that it will fall into the ocean and give Las Vegas its long-awaited beachfront property, Richland-Grant Telephone Cooperative in Blue River, WI, announced plans to implement ADC‘s OmniReach fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) solutions in communities located in Southwestern Wisconsin. More than a Phone Line RTX introduced a DUALjack product described as the "first true wireless phone extender with the ability to support an entire home’s voice and data needs from a single base station." Apparently while making every other product claim a lie, the DUALjack adds onto the pile by being so easy to install that even an editor can do it. The company suggests plugging a phone line into the base station and plugging the base station into an electric socket. The DUALjack (and don’t you hate capital letters for no apparent reason?) can be placed anywhere in the house by plugging it into an electric socket then plugging a phone, fax, modem, TiVo or other PVR into it. The product, RTX said, can support up to four extension units with any combination of phone, data and fax lines. Teaming Up It’s not exactly as big as Leon (vague reference there to see if you’ve been keeping track), but Trendium and Allot Communications are teaming up with a so-called solution that combines the monitoring and control capabilities of Allot NetEnforcer bandwidth management devices with the analysis capabilities of Trendium ServicePATH (again with the capital letters!) Service Intelligence System to give service providers insight into their networks to determine if (and does anyone really think this is an if, not a when?) problems are limiting performance and quality. Stop the Presses The WiMAX Forum issued a news release saying that it was happy that Sprint Nextel was planning to build a nationwide mobile WiMAX network with equipment from Forum members Intel, Motorola and Samsung Telecommunications America. Now we might be cranky or picky here, but wouldn’t this be bigger news if the WiMAX Forum, a body dedicated to promoting WiMAX, came out with a huge, loud, full-lunged strawberry at Sprint Nextel’s plans?