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January 29, 2013

Sansay Adds High Capacity Transcoding to Enhance VoIP Services

By Peter Bernstein, Senior Editor

If you are a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service provider, here is some good news. Thanks to San Diego, CA (News - Alert)-based provider of VoIP infrastructure Sansay, the ability to expand current and new services high-performance reach, particularly when used with third party SBCs, can and should be in your future. Here is why.

High octane and interoperable transcoding

 Sansay (News - Alert) has introduced a line of high capacity transcoders that enable any-to-any audio and video transcoding. They are available in n+1 redundant configurations and include sophisticated call routing capabilities, which Sansay believes makes them different from competitive products that do not have such functionality.

What the new transcoders do is basically make it so session boarder controllers (SBCs) can differentiate themselves in the market by claiming in essence, “This is not your father’s VoIP.”

The list of applications supported is impressive. It includes such things as wholesale termination, cellular, hosted business, SIP trunking, residential voice, wireless broadband, and WebRTC-based services.

This high capacity transcoding is available via three Sansay products:

  • TSX: Transcoding Server Switch ­ designed to function with third-party SBCs and media gateways
  • MST: Media Server for Transcoding - designed for enhanced Sansay-based session control
  • Hosted Transcoding: delivered from Sansay’s “cloud” for trial and starter deployments

Sansay CEO Andy Voss, explained that, “Service providers are increasingly using new codecs to enhance their communications offerings, adding services such as HD voice, wireless VoIP, and bandwidth-optimized video calling…Sansay transcoding products help operators serve these growing market segments, bringing the benefit of Sansay quality, performance, and commitment to outstanding customer support.”

As noted, the ability to expand reach by leveraging the capabilities of third-party SBCs and thereby enable service providers to offer enhanced current services and a host of new ones, is what this is all about. Some of the things that service providers are using Sansay transcoding include:

International Wholesale: Adding routes and new traffic that require G.729 / G.723 - G.711 transcoding.

Retail & US Wholesale: Improving call quality via echo cancellation, p-time normalization, and latency reduction.

Cellular: More flexible transcoding of iLBC, AMR, & G.722.2 / AMR-WB for off-net call termination

Wireless Broadband & WebRTC: Adding new services and call resilience using advanced codecs designed for OTT service delivery. 

Value Added Applications:

·         Reducing dropped calls and failed call setups with fixes for G.711 - T.38 Fax termination and DTMF issues (RFC 2833 to SIP INFO method interop)

·         Increasing security via SRTP media encryption and generate QoS statistics for improved network troubleshooting

·         Improving support for video calling and video conferencing services with H.263 and H.264 transcoding

The significance of the impact this can have in the market can be seen in statements from a leading industry analyst and service providers already taking advantage of enhanced transcoding from Sansay.

Diane Myers, Principal Analyst, VoIP and IMS, Infonetics (News - Alert) stated that, “With the continued enhancements to communication services, the market for transcoding infrastructure remains strong.” She added that, “The Sansay offer brings flexibility that service providers are interested in – supporting distributed networks and adding session control capabilities as needed.”

Myron Wallace, Director of Advanced Voice Services from Telekenex, an operator that has combined Sansay’s TSX with third-party SBCs, commented, “Sansay’s transcoding system was able to manipulate elements that transcoding provided by our pre-existing SBC vendor was unable to. In addition, the flexibility of the Sansay engineering team to think outside the box gave us the ability overcome hurdles that helped us edge out our competitors.”

TelinTel CEO, Mario Acosta, said, “Sansay’s MST transcoding solution allowed us to pick up new customers quickly and easily. The control for the transcoding was integrated into the VSXi customer profile so we could just use our normal routes for these new customers. It was quite simple to get working and has performed perfectly since it was set up.”

A look under the hood

The portfolio enhancements are providing important capabilities. For example, the MST and TSX deliver 250 to 2000 sessions per 1U system and can be deployed using n+1 pooling. The nice thing here is that nodes can be geographically distributed. As Sansay notes, this means you can have redundant dynamic clusters, reduce the likelihood of media hair-pinning, and increase overall network-wide reliability.

There is even good news on introducing the enhanced functionality into your network. Sansay’s Hosted Transcoding lets operators test and deploy transcoding with little to no initial outlay and at smaller incremental unit volumes. They are also touting the fact that setup is fast, and operators can add transcoding capacity on-demand, paying a monthly price per block of active ports. Plus, Sansay's Hosted Transcoding is provided from geo-redundant Tier 1 facilities. And, as part of the general availability (GA), Sansay is offering free TSX and MST evaluation systems to qualified operators.

The fact of the matter is that there is a tendency in the communications industry to look at things such as transcoders a plumbing, and that there is not much to get excited about when it comes to plumbing. The truth is that nothing could be further from the case. Transcoding, particularly high-capacity transcoding with advanced functionality for helping third-party SBCs, enable service providers to extend their reach and provide seamless quality services, is as noted above vital.

There is also more than enough sizzle here to make this worthy of consideration if you are in the VoIP business. Sansay has raised the bar technically in the transcoding business. In fact, it is early to the market in helping enable WebRTC — which many are calling the next big communications market disruptor. In addition, you have to admire the fact that it has also made the business proposition for introduction and then expansion of these capabilities easy on the budget by letting customers get started via the hosted offering.

Finally, I would be remiss if I did not mentioning that Sansay is both exhibiting at TMC’s (News - Alert) ITEXPO Miami event January 30 – February 1 and can be found in booth 307, and David Walters, VP Marketing, is a panelists on one of the shows featured and highly anticipated sessions, The Future of Service Providers — Dumb Pipes or Global Leaders?, which I will be moderating.

Hope to see you at the show.

Edited by Brooke Neuman
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