News Release

iBasis and SpeechWorks International Announce Plans To Provide Global Phone Access For Speech-Driven Web Services and Content

Companies Integrate Technologies & Network To Enable Voice
Dec 04, 2000

Companies Integrate Technologies & Network To Enable Voice Access to Web Services

BURLINGTON, and BOSTON, Mass., December 4, 2000-iBasis, Inc. (Nasdaq: IBAS), the leader in advanced Internet-based communications, and SpeechWorks International (Nasdaq: SPWX), a leader in the telephony-based speech technology industry, today announced plans to integrate technologies to provide global access to speech-enabled Internet services and content for wireline and wireless carriers, enterprises, Voice Application Service Providers (Voice ASPs) and voice portals.

Working together, iBasis and Speechworks are creating a next generation, speech-driven Web infrastructure on a global scale that will leverage the iBasis VoIP network and SpeechWorks technologies. Corporations that use speech-enabled customer service solutions from SpeechWorks will be able to take advantage of the iBasis Network to make these services accessible as local calls from wired and wireless phones around the world. For example, a business executive traveling in Japan may need to call her U.S.-based airline's reservation system to make a flight change. Rather than having to place an expensive international long distance call, she would be able to access the service by placing a local call into a Tokyo point of presence on The iBasis Network. In addition, through the emerging capabilities of SpeechWorks technologies, multiple content sites can be interconnected in a manner similar to the way in which URL links connect graphical web sites today to access related services, such as hotel or car rental reservations.

The jointly developed and marketed solutions will leverage The iBasis NetworkTM to provide global phone access to customer service, e-commerce and Internet content services and will be powered by SpeechWorks' speech browser and speech links, new speech-driven solutions that use the latest Internet transport protocols and voice technologies. Speech links are based on Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) and serve as connective tissue that allows callers to move among speech enabled services, much like people 'surf' among web sites today. The SpeechWorks speech browser is an open source VoiceXML-based browser that extends information and transactional capabilities available for speech services.

Voice ASPs and internet portals such as PriceInteractive, America Online and Yahoo!, and enterprises, such as Continental Airlines, BellSouth, and Fedex currently use SpeechWorks technologies to speech-enable call centers, web content and other customer service solutions. SpeechWorks is developing capabilities to enable a network of interconnected speech services that will allow consumers to speech-surf and interact with any speech-enabled applications using spoken commands and the nearest phone. By leveraging SpeechWorks technologies in its global IP network, iBasis will help to accelerate the delivery of the speech-enabled web.

"Together iBasis and SpeechWorks are driving the next Internet revolution: combining the power and flexibility of the Internet with the convenience of the telephone," said Ofer Gneezy, president and CEO of iBasis. "Our IP-based services and technologies comprise comprehensive solutions that transform the phone into an Internet access device and increase by an order of magnitude the scope, capabilities and potential market for SpeechWorks solutions."

"Our market-leading speech solutions, coupled with iBasis' global VoIP infrastructure, will enable us to accelerate the delivery of the next generation of voice-driven content and commerce services," said Stuart R. Patterson, CEO of SpeechWorks International. "Today signals an exciting stage in our relationship with iBasis, which offers both the global reach and the quality of service required to enable our customers to realize the worldwide potential of speech-activated solutions."

The iBasis Network

The iBasis Network is the world's largest international Cisco Powered Network (CPN) for Internet telephony. The iBasis Network comprises large carrier-class switching facilities called Internet Central OfficesTM, strategically located in Amsterdam, Cambridge (Mass.), Frankfurt, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Sydney, Tokyo and Vancouver. The network also comprises numerous smaller points of presence called Internet Branch OfficesTM, which play an important role in both originating and terminating traffic. With this global infrastructure in more than 41 countries and through its telephony peering relationships with other communications providers, iBasis can terminate calls virtually anywhere in the world.