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August 1999

Router-Based Gateways

The number of voice over IP (VoIP) gateways on the market is as scalable as the products themselves -  new offerings with the flexibility to accommodate everyone from businesses to service providers and carriers are being introduced every day. Many of these gateways are traditional routers, with the ability to switch data over IP, frame relay, ATM, and other packet-based networks. But these devices also have some distinct features, and can connect to traditional PBXs, key systems, and even analog phones, offering important voice and data connectivity for businesses with entrenched circuit-switched networks. Router-based gateways bridge PSTN networks with the LAN or WAN, providing standard voice compression and quality of service (QoS) along with the ease of configuration and management of a traditional router.

Because of their classic design and smooth integration with existing networks, we have decided to break out router-based gateways from the vast offering of VoIP gateways in the marketplace for this roundup. For a more complete listing of various types of gateways being offered, please refer to the Carrier-Class Internet Telephony Gateways roundup in the June issue of Internet Telephony�. We urge you to use this roundup as a starting point as you research ways to link your legacy phone system with your data network. And who knows? There may soon come a day when all routers on the market support voice functionality.

- Laura Guevin

Pipeline Family
Ascend Communications, Inc.
One Ascend Plaza
1701 Harbor Bay Pkwy.
Alameda, CA 94502-3002
Ph: 510-769-6001

Ascends Pipeline router family is a remote access solution for sending data over a secure network. The products offer Virtual Private Remote Networking (VPRN) for VPN creation on the enterprise side, and also feature ISDN or Ethernet connectivity. As a component in the company?s MultiVPN strategy, the Pipeline routers offer assured levels of service and availability, as well as security through integrated firewall and IPSec functions. The models also offer SmoothConnect features, for efficient remote access.

The Pipeline routers scale in functionality from model 15, intended for small and home offices, to 220, which has T1 connectivity for large businesses. The mid-range model, the Pipeline 85, features network address translation (NAT), and remote management through Telnet and SNMP. It offers two analog ports, and a four-port built-in hub. Higher-end models offer configurations for two-port, four-port, or seven-port T1 cards, one- or two-port DS3 cards, or a one-port OC3 card. For additional information, visit Ascend?s Web site at www.ascend.com

CX950 Access Switch
Memotec Communications
600 McCaffrey St.
Montreal, QC Canada H4T 1N1
Ph: 514-738-4781
This multiservice access concentrator from Memotec allows transmission of voice, video, and data over ATM, frame relay, ISDN, and IP networks. Packaged in an eight-slot chassis, the switch can support LAN applications through Ethernet or token ring modules, and legacy protocols from various serial modules. Voice compression through analog and digital modules is also supported, as is connectivity through 56/64 Kbps dial up, T1/E1 lines, CSU/DSU, ISDN, and V.24 back-up modules.

The switch enables voice compression in cell format for transmission over a public or private ATM network, and proprietary QoS ensures voice quality during frame-relay transfers. The switch also allows analog or digital ISDN/BRI PBXs to communicate over the IP backbone. The CX950 is managed through SNMP using Memotec?s Java-based CXView, for browser-like network management. For additional information, visit Memotec's Web site at www.memotec.com.

Sensible Office Solutions, Inc. (SOSINC)
4297 Sergeant Rd.
Sioux City, IA 51106
Ph: 712-266-0836
The Sovereign platform from SOSINC offers router-based functionality for voice-over-IP applications. The platform is available in an industrial model, a commercial model, and an end-user model, and is scalable from two to 30,000 ports. It utilizes combinations of T1/E1, analog, and digital connectivity, and can be directly connected to ISDN trunks. The platform also offers voice compression and storage, digital voice prompting, information reporting, administration applications, and remote diagnostics.

The industrial model is fault tolerant and redundant, and can scale from two to 24 ports of analog connectivity per chassis, as well as four to 48 digital voice channels per chassis. The commercial model scales from two to 18 ports for analog voice, and four to 24 channels for digital voice. The end-user model offers two to six ports of analog connectivity, and four to 12 channels of digital voice. For additional information, visit the SOSINC Web site at www.sosinet.com.

NX64000 Multi-Terabit Core Switch/Router
Nexabit Networks, Inc.
200 Nickerson Rd.
Marlborough, MA 01752
Ph: 508-460-3355
Offering up to 6.4 Tbps per chassis, Nexabit?s NX64000 supports OC-3, OC-12, OC-48, and 16-channel OC-192 connectivity. The router offers 40 microseconds of latency for transferring voice, video, and data over IP, and interfaces provide built-in SONET functionality. The company?s quality of service (QoS) technology offers guaranteed bandwidth, packet delay, and delay variance.
The router supports multicast queues, as well as industry protocols including IS-IS, OSPF, RSVP, DVMRP, ATM UNI, and network management. It allows hot swap of system hardware, and features the NX-IS architecture for in-service software up-grades. This feature enables upgrade, reconfiguration, or reboot of NX-IS software modules while sessions are active - without impacting traffic on the network. For more infor-mation, visit Nexabit's Web site at www.nexabit.com.

MultiFRAD Family
Multi-Tech Systems, Inc.
2205 Woodale Dr.
Mounds View, MN 55112
Ph: 612-785-3500
The MultiFRAD family of routers from Multi-Tech Systems offers frame relay voice and fax connectivity over a LAN for companies that use multiplexers or other legacy equipment. The 200-Series provides two optional voice/fax channels for FXS, FXO, and E&M connectivity. The models have one T1/E1 WAN port, two data ports, and a 10Base-T Ethernet port. The MultiFRAD can route over IP/IPX, and offers serial data rates up to 128 Kbps. Other features include local and remote configuration via Web browser, Telnet, SNMP, or a terminal emulation client.

The 3000-Series offers six to 10 ports for frame-relay connectivity, and a built-in router connects to a 10Base-T Ethernet port. The device also has a T1/E1 WAN connection, offering up to 2.048 Mbps transfer rates. For more information, visit the Multi-Tech Web site at www.multitech.com.

Access Plus F200ip
Nuera Communications, Inc.
10445 Pacific Center Court
San Diego, CA 92121
Ph: 619-625-2400

The Access Plus F200ip voice/data gateway from Nuera supports voice over IP and voice over frame relay concurrently, and is capable of switching calls from any port to any other port. Supporting industry-standard vocoders from 8 Kbps to 32 Kbps, the Access Plus offers low-delay voice encoding and minimal end-to-end speech delay. Other features include echo cancellation, lost packet recovery, and modem transparency over voice channels.

Bandwidth efficiency is achieved through programmable voice packeting, and adaptive silence suppression is used to minimize bandwidth during speech breaks. Asymmetric fax channels and data fragmentation also minimize bandwidth usage and delay over low-speed interfaces. Connectivity is provided through T1/E1 interfaces that can support 24/30 voice channels, and analog interfaces may be programmed using FXO, FXS, and E&M. The gateway may also be managed remotely through SNMP. For more information, visit Nuera’s Web site at www.nuera.com.

Network iQ Multiprotocol Routers
Allied Telesyn International
(formerly Teltrend, Inc.)
960 Stewart Dr., Ste. B
Sunnyvale, CA 94086
Ph: 408-730-0950
The family of Network iQ routers from Allied Telesyn offers internet-working among LANs using data and telco services. The routers provide BRI/PRI ISDN, as well as frame relay over ISDN. They also have an adapter for integrated PBX functionality, and offer encrypted VPNs over IP as well. The product family has three series, geared toward everything from small offices to corporate central sites.
The iQ 800 series offers ISDN connectivity combined with PBX functionality for voice and data. The 1000 series supports ISDN, PSTN, leased line, frame relay, and X.25 connectivity, and may be adapted for changing network requirements. It also offers a firewall and 56-bit DES encryption model for support of up to 96 channels. And the iQ 3000 series, geared toward central offices, offers bandwidth on demand for either ISDN or PSTN backup when the network is experiencing heavy loads. For more information, visit the Allied Telesyn Web site at www.alliedtelesyn.com.

InterPrise Family
Inter-Tel, Inc.
7300 West Boston St.
Chandler, AZ 85226-3224
Ph: 602-961-9000
The InterPrise family of voice and data routers utilizes IP networks for delivering voice and data. Scalable from four to 32 ports, the series allows voice transmissions from a standard key system, PBX, or central office switch, and converts them to data packets. The 400 and 2400 models offer analog connectivity for voice, fax, and data transmission over WANs, and through Inter-Tel’s IP telephony network.

The 3200D and 128D models, scaled for larger organizations, provide T1 or E1 connectivity over a WAN, and utilize network bandwidth from 8 Kbps to 64 Kbps per voice channel. The InterPrise offers full-duplex, toll-quality voice with echo cancellation and minimal packet loss. The series supports standard voice codecs, and offers call routing and number translation, call progress tone handling, and adaptive jitter buffer management, as well as a host of other features. For additional information, visit Inter-Tel’s Web site at www.inter-tel.com.

Catalyst 8500 Multiservice Switch Router
Cisco Systems, Inc.
170 West Tasman Dr.
San Jose, CA 95134
Ph: 408-526-4000�
Cisco’s Catalyst 8500 offers scalable control and forwarding of data and voice traffic over IP, IPX, IP multicast, and bridged and ATM networks. The router series offers two editions to support different network types. The Catalyst 8500 Campus Switch Router (CSR) offers Layer 3 routing capabilities over fast and gigabit Ethernet, and OC-3/OC-12 ATM and PoS uplinks.

The Catalyst 8500 Multiservice ATM Switch Router (MSR) offers ATM switching over T1 and through OC-48c. The router can integrate voice, data, and video traffic using ATM LAN emulation (LANE), multiprotocol over ATM (MPOA), and multiprotocol label switching (MPLS)/tag switching networks. The 8500 can be used as a Layer 3 switch for nonblocking routing of IP, IPX, and IP multicast. It also offers wire-speed Layer 2 switching for nonroutable protocols like NetBIOS and DECnet local-area transport (LAT). For more information, visit Cisco’s Web site at www.cisco.com.

V-Server iGATE
TEK DigiTel Corporation
20010 Century Blvd., Ste. 300
Germantown, MD 20874
TEK DigiTel’s V-Server iGATE allows IP connectivity of PBXs, analog phones, and key systems while performing VoIP gateway functions. The router will also convert fax data to IP, using the same voice port connections, and incorporates standards-based IP routing for direct Internet access. The V-Server iGATE supports H.323, version 2, and the G.711, G.729a/b, G.723.1, and G.168 voice compression standards. It also features a RAS client for gatekeeping functions.

Connectivity is provided through a 10Base-T Ethernet port, a serial WAN, an ISDN BRI, two analog voice ports, and an asynchronous console. The router also supports fax detection and the T.30 protocol, as well as T.38 fax spoofing. Other features include a dynamic dialing administrator, hunt group functionality, a phone book list, v-number prefix, and FXS and FXO routing. Management may be handled through Telnet, an SNMP agent, command line interface, or a GUI. For more information, visit the company’s Web site at www.tekdigitel.com.

IP.tel 6000
Hypercom Network Systems
2851 West Kathleen Rd.
Phoenix, AZ 85053
With the ability to concentrate up to 960 voice and fax channels on a single network node, the IP.tel 6000 offers reliability and scalability over IP, intranets, VSAT, and frame relay connections. Hypercom’s voice switch uses DSP technology, as well as dynamic rate change to prevent calls from being dropped and to properly allocate bandwidth. The switch also allows businesses to utilize their current billing and calling card applications, and generates call detail records that may be integrated with several different billing systems. The IP.tel 6000 may also be connected to a third-party NT or UNIX-based server for external billing functions.

The switch can support up to 32 T1 or E1 connections, and a multifunction architecture provides: An integrated VoIP gateway; cell, packet, and circuit switching; and integrated CSU/DSU. Other features include congestion control, support for TDM and packetized voice and fax, support of standard compression algorithms, and silence detection and suppression. For more information, visit Hypercom’s Web site at www.hypercom.com.

2212 Access Utility
International Business Machines Corporation (IBM)
New Orchard Rd.
Armonk, NY 10504
Ph: 914-499-1900
IBM’s 2212 Access Utility features a digital modem CPCI adapter, for support of 24 to 30 ISDN or 56 Kbps modem connections via a single T1/E1 port. A four-port, analog, 56 Kbps modem adapter enables up to 40 analog connections, and supports the V.34 and V.90 transmission standards, although rates are limited to 33.6 Kbps.

The router also offers connectivity for up to eight remote voice ports or PBXs through several two-port analog voice CPCI adapters, which can be scaled up to four adapters per unit. These adapters support voice-over-IP and voice-over-frame relay connectivity. A compression/encryption adapter also offers hardware acceleration for encryption and compression. Other features include remote management through SNMP, and a LAN network manager. For more information, visit IBM’s Web site at www.networking.ibm.com.

EZLink 440V
StarNet Technologies, Inc.
2210 O’Toole Ave.
San Jose, CA 95131
Ph: 408-954-9200 �
StarNet’s voice and data router solution features a built-in PBX for support of five Series 2500 phone terminals with intelligent call management. The terminals offer circuit-switched calls over ISDN, as well as packet-switched calls over IP. The EZLink 440V also integrates an IP router for sharing ISDN trunk lines for Internet access, as well as a four-port, 10Base-T LAN repeater.

The solution’s call management functionality includes internal/external call forwarding using extension or caller ID, and distinctive ringing. VoIP interoperability is provided through H.323, version 2, and the solution supports the G.723.1 and G.729A vocoders, as well as echo cancellation. Additional features including call waiting, hold, and transfer are also supported, as well as auto attendant and message waiting indication. For more information, visit StarNet’s Web site at www.stilink.com.

Congo Voice Hub-Router
Ericsson, Inc.
Access Product Unit
340 Storke Road
Santa Barbara, CA 93117
Ph: 805-685-4455 or 877-832-4222
Ericsson's brand new Congo Voice Hub-Router is geared towad small and home-office users for LAN and WAN connectivity from one platform. This easy-to-install router allows Ethernet connectivity for up to four computers, and integrates voice, data, and fax traffic over an ISDN BRI connection. The Congo can handle IP/IPX, ISDN, and BRI transmissions, and offers a four-port, 10Base-T Ethernet hub.

Features include dial-on-demand and dial-on-congestion for managing connection time so that maximum bandwidth is allocated to transmissions, at a minimum cost. Service providers will be able to offer Congo as Customer Premise Equipment (CPE) for managed data and voice services. The router is part of the Congo Family of connectivity solutions for the SOHO market, and is designed as an inexpensive option for system integrators and VARs to offer remote-office connectivity for the enterprise. For more information, visit Ericsson's Web site at www.ericsson.se.

Meridian Passport
Nortel Networks
Dept. 1019, One Brunswick Square
Atrium, Ste. 100
Saint John, NB E2L 4V1 CANADA
Nortel’s Meridian Passport connects the company’s Meridian 1 PBX system with an enterprise network for managed transfer of voice, video, and data over the WAN. The Passport offers frame or cell switching and trunking for the best voice quality possible, as well as voice support through CAS and CCS signaling. Other features include ADPCM compression, echo cancellation with fax and modem tone detection, and speech activity detection.

The Meridian Passport supports ATM trunking, DS3 and OC-3c trunking, and multiple routing systems. Frame relay and legacy data is transported using a connectionless routing system, and voice and transparent data is transmitted through a connection-oriented routing system. Network management is provided through SNMP-compliant device management, and the Magellan Network Management System from Nortel. The HP OpenView and IBM Netview management systems are also supported. For additional information, visit Nortel’s Web site at www.nortel.com.

Vanguard 6450
Motorola, Inc.
Internet Product Operations
8303 North MoPac Expwy., Ste. A-400
Austin, TX 78759
Ph: 512-583-2300
Suited for networks with regional remote branch offices, Motorola’s Vanguard 6450 voice and data router allows analog voice to be combined with data traffic over frame relay links. It also enables voice transmission over digital leased lines, ISDN, X.25, and Nx64K services. The Vanguard features a multi-processor architecture with a PowerPC RISC processor and three communication processors, as well as specific semiconductors, and a fast, 1 Gbps bounded bus for service to network interfaces and multi-port option modules.

The 6450 model offers Motorola’s Voice Relay voice, fax, and Remote VU video, as well as LAN routing and legacy data support. Voice support features 8/16 Kbps compression for minimal bandwidth usage, and the G.723.1 compression codec. Centralized voice switching and voice broadcasting capabilities are also included. Video features include transport at bandwidths as low as 2.4 Kbps, and support for security surveillance and remote video monitoring applications. For more information, visit Motorola’s Web site at www.mot.com/networking.

PathBuilder S200
3Com Corporation
5400 Bayfront Plaza
Santa Clara, CA 95052
Ph: 408-326-5000
3Com’s voice access switch allows voice and data traffic to flow concurrently over an existing IP WAN or frame relay network. The PathBuilder S200 transports quality voice at rates as low as 5.3 Kbps, and offers interoperability using the H.323 protocol and the G.723.1 and G.729A vocoders. The switch also offers support for other standard analog and digital voice interfaces, like PRI and Q.SIG, while maintaining interoperability with PBXs, key systems, phones, and other telephony devices.

Bandwidth-saving features include voice activity detection for silence suppression, echo cancellation, and smoothing buffers to make up for variable packet delays. Other functions include sophisticated call routing, variable length addressing, full digit absorption, alternate routing, and hunt group functionality for PBX and public network translations. Network voice switching is enhanced by configuring a few central nodes in the network as voice name servers, for centralized mapping information between phone numbers and the location of phones or PBXs. For additional information, visit 3Com’s Web site at www.3com.com.

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