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Packet Telephony Feature Article


[September 19, 2005]

Veraz Networks Enters Wireless Market with Fixed Mobile Convergence Platform

By ROBERT LIU
TMCnet Wireless and Technology Columnist


As both service providers and their subscribers begin to experiment with so-called 4G networks, Veraz Networks has entered the wireless market by introducing a new Fixed Mobile Convergence (FMC) architecture that will serve as the foundation for a series of application and service bundle rollouts.

In a press statement, Veraz said its FMC approach is enabled by its family of programmable softswitch, service delivery and media gateway platforms that are based on a distributed architecture that maps to IP Multimedia Subsystems (IMS) to deliver voice and/or multimedia services to subscribers across any available access network, including over broadband access media such as DSL, cable, metro Ethernet or wireless broadband, in addition to mobile networks and existing narrowband digital loop systems.

"Customer acceptance of convergence requires operators to provide them with tangible benefits in addition to improved pricing value. Service Providers will benefit from service-rich offerings that leverage both existing and new service platforms to satisfy their customer's varied and multi-generational devices," said Doug Sabella, president and CEO of Veraz Networks. "With application portability, the Veraz architecture reduces the risk of the convergence process while multiplying its overall pace and benefit."

The announcement comes as service providers and networking vendors start aligning with one another in preparation for a variety of next-generation technologies (WiMAX, WiBro, HSDPA or Flash-OFDM) that left the industry wondering which roadmap strategy will emerge as the clear winner.

"Ubiquitous broadband wireless connectivity will be difficult to achieve by a single technology. Rather, broadband wireless access will evolve as an interconnected network of networks just like the Internet, ultimately providing pervasive connectivity over a range of coverage areas," said Richard Long, analyst at Deutsche Bank.

As such, Veraz has designed an architecture that enables each layer (application, core/access network, and device) to develop independently and at its own pace. The path towards offering applications across different networks and multiple devices is challenged with a proliferation of signaling, call/session control, and service protocols. Protocols used in various TDM and VoIP networks in addition to wireless protocols such as IS-41, GSM-MAP, WIN and CAMEL provide a richness of features and parameters to support specific service sets.

Some of today's market approaches require the choice of abandoning existing service platforms or compromising on feature richness because they can not natively support key protocols. Veraz's solution preserves and leverages the richness of existing and new protocols by having them accessible within the call control and services core. Veraz has built up a library of native protocols, and in combination with its programmable service broker unifying the service layer, it is easy to add new protocols such as wireless IN and ongoing enhancements to SIP and IMS related interfaces.

"We are starting to learn more about the different vendor offerings that address convergence," said Bettina Tratz-Ryan, Research Director at Gartner, Inc. "For those solution providers that have as part of their offerings a viable network architecture and service delivery platform to address both emerging IMS, as well as legacy IN integration, these solution providers will be sought after by the service providers as they plan their FMC."

The Veraz architecture incorporates programmable service broker capabilities that can coordinate between multiple service platforms, like legacy wireline SCPs, wireless SCPs, NGN app servers, and services within the Veraz ControlSwitch. Service providers on the path to FMC will experience less pain along this path because Veraz's architecture enables each layer (application, core/access network, and device) to converge independently and at its own pace. With a unified approach for applications, networks, and devices, Veraz is also eliminating the need to recreate or duplicate functionality across networks, reducing costs and simplifying the convergence process.

As for consumers, subscribers will be able to centralize their communications control by integrating their wireless and wireline addresses, devices and service/subscriptions across their multiple communication devices. The increased customer loyalty will be just one of the many benefits realized by service providers.

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Robert Liu is Executive Editor at TMCnet.Previously, he was Executive Editor at Jupitermedia and has also written for CNN, A&E, Dow Jones and Bloomberg.For more articles, please visit Robert Liu's columnist page.

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