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February 2007
Volume 10 / Number 2

The New SBC For More Than VoIP
By Erik Linask

Traditionally, voice traffic across networks has been managed and controlled using standard session border controllers (SBCs) — like Covergence’s (news - alert) Eclipse product — that were well-suited for enabling voice peering between relatively small numbers of users of known and trusted providers. But, as the IP communications world continues to grow at record rates, the number of providers and the number of users and endpoints both continue to increase at least as rapidly.

The “old” SBC simply is not equipped to handle such high traffic volumes of varied traffic and session types across new IMS-based multimedia networks. For that very reason, a new type of session management product is required in order to ensure performance of many of today’s real-time services — something that can be deployed at the subscriber or access edge.

To accommodate this need, Covergence has adapted its Eclipse solution and has now released its new Eclipse aSBC (access edge SBC), which is specifically designed to scale, secure, and manage performance at the network access edge. The Eclipse aSBC has to process and manage registrations traffic, secure connections, provide protection from intrusion and attack, effectively enforce user policies, and encrypt and decipher content between millions of endpoints, without sacrificing session quality. Essentially, the aSBC ensures their services meet the quality thresholds defined by the most demanding business customers as they roll out increasingly more sophisticated services.


India Holds Great Promise for Telecom Growth
By Rich Tehrani

Last year, the U.S. Department of Commerce engineered the largest trade mission hoping to boost commerce with one of the world’s fastest-growing economies in India — a total of 239 participants from 189 companies participated in the mission, which included a business summit in Bombay, followed by meetings in Kolkata, New Delhi, and other Indian cities. Companies represented on the mission include such well-known firms as GE, FedEx, and UPS, as well as smaller companies from sectors including health care, industrial machinery, and telecommunications.

During the past several years of the mission, only large multi-national companies participated, but this time, the U.S. Government recognized that many smaller companies, like EagleNet, which believes in a free trade market for services and products, are also making significant contributions to bilateral economic growth, and invited a number of them to participate.

India represents a significant opportunity for telecommunications vendors and investors — its 175-million line telephone network (fixed and cellular) is among the top five networks in the world and the second largest in emerging markets, trailing only China. It also has one of the fastest growing telecommunications segments in the world, with total connections growing at an average rate of more than 20 percent annually. The total subscriber base of cellular subscribers is currently at 130 million, and a number of subscribers added this year alone is more than 50 million — that is the highest growth rate in the world.

The industry is considered to have the highest potential for investment in India and the growth in demand for telecom services in India will be the highest in the cellular services, basic telecom service, national long distance, followed by international long distance. Based on the size and current growth of the market, EagleNet, (news - alert) for one, envisions significant opportunity for growth in India.


MetaSwitch Brings IMS to the Great White North
By Erik Linask

As it continues to focus on bridging the gap between legacy TDM and next generation IP worlds, switching solution provider MetaSwitch (news - alert) has now also bridged a national divide, becoming the first non-Canadian softswitch provider to be selected by a Bell Canada affiliate.

Québec’s Télébec has partnered with MetaSwitch as it seeks to deploy a new IMS infrastructure to launch new services, including VoIP. The multi-year partnership with MetaSwtich will ensure that Télébec is properly prepared to launch new unified communications services, including FMC and presencebased offerings, hosted solutions, and Webbased provisioning, which will enable it to upgrade its presence among business customers.

“Télébec is committed to delivering highly innovative IP-based services to our business and residential customers,” said Sylvie Couture, Télébec’s chief technology officer. “MetaSwitch is at the heart of this transition of our business. Thanks to its core technologies and deployment experience, we will have the service options and flexibility we need to build customer loyalty and stay ahead of potential competitors.”


Sylantro Expands IMS Partnerships
By Erik Linask

Sylantro Systems (news - alert) has announced two new partnership agreements to further support its claims that it is making significant strides in the market and is focusing heavily on enabling service providers globally to build out new IMS-based infrastructures.

The first is an extension of Sylantro’s previously announced relationship with Swisscom, (news - alert) which is anticipating the launch of its new IMS network early next year. The new network will feature Sylantro’s Synergy application feature server integrated into the infrastructure. With the services enabled by Sylantro, Swisscom will be able to roll out new enhanced services to its residential customers, including potential converged fixed and mobile (FMC) services.

In this deployment, Ericsson is the IMS infrastructure provider and will deploy and integrate Sylantro as part of its offer, which will give Sylantro a presence in the three service provider segments it views as being strategically important: Hosted VoIP, Mobility, and Application & Web Services.

Sylantro has also announced a key partnership with Korea Telecom, (news - alert) a project that has been underway for a year, having been launched because Korea Telecom was in search of an IMS-compliant feature server. Knowing that Sylantro had previously completed interoperability testing with several vendors, KT requested the Sylantro do the same with Samsung, the main IMS core provider for Korea Telecom’s WiBro network.

Having successfully completed interoperability testing with Samsung, the Synergy feature server will become part of Korea Telecom’s WiBro network offering, which is on schedule to deploy during Q2 2007. KT will offer an integrated Microsoft Hosted Messaging and Collaboration (HMC) solution with the Sylantro Synergy Application Feature Server running on the Samsung IMS platform.


Dialogic Announces First PCIe Products
By Erik Linask

Media and signal processing technology developer Dialogic Corporation (news - alert) has announced its latest series of products — seven PCI Express compatible media boards. These latest boards are, essentially, sister products to the company’s PCI universal boards in terms of features and functionality, but also provide for complete backwards compatibility enabling solution providers to integrate the new boards into their existing systems and applications with little modification.

The new PCIe boards will provider developers, OEMs, and integrators even greater choice of servers on which to build their communications solutions for service providers or enterprises, integrating the latest converged communications applications into those solutions.

The new 12-port analog and dual span T1/E1 Dialogic JCT series boards, as well as single span T1/E1 Dialogic Diva series boards are available now, and are designed to easily integrate with existing Dialogic PCI boards.

“While our main development focus is on media and signaling products that enable IP, wireless, and video communication solutions, we recognize the importance of keeping our existing media board products compatible with the latest platform technologies,” said Jim Machi, vice president of product marketing at Dialogic.

Dialogic says it plans to introduce additional versions of its PCIe boards, also backwards compatible with its other existing boards, throughout the year.


Avaya Enhances IP Office Suite for SMBs
By Johanne Torres

Wanting to target small and medium businesses, Avaya (quote - news - alert) announced new enhancements to its IP Office suite. The company added on a new software and modular hardware package, SIP trunking for reduced calling, and remote diagnostic tools. The company introduced two versions of enhanced software for the suite: one for very small businesses and serves up to 32 users; and the Professional edition which supports up to 270 users.

The company also expanded its current portfolio of servers by introducing the IP Office 500 communications server. The IP Office 500 features a more compact design. The new server supports telephony, voice messaging, and a customer service suite. In addition, Avaya also introduced a new set of remote diagnostic tools, which will allow resellers to proactively identify and resolve problems remotely.

“We built IP Office from the ground up for small businesses. That means it has the right entry-level price, ‘big business’ communications capabilities, and options for companies to add more capabilities, capacities or locations as their business grows,” commented Geoffrey Baird, vice president and general manager, Appliances, Mobility and Small Systems Division, Avaya.


NEC Launching CX2600/200 Series Switches for Mobile Backhaul
By Patrick Barnard

NEC (news - alert) announced that it will soon be launching its new CX2600/200 series of Service Aggregation Switches designed for mobile backhaul. These new hybrid switches incorporate a single switching card which allows them to simultaneously provide packet switching for Ethernet/ATM traffic and low-latency circuit switching for TDM traffic. In addition, the new PWE (Pseudo Wire Emulation) function provides TDM/ATM emulation over IP networks.

The new series is designed to enable a smooth transition from TDM to all-IP. Carriers worldwide can carry out smooth mobile infrastructure backhaul area migration, as they gradually change over to an all-IP network. This is accomplished through a phased introduction of the IP changeover in existing TDM infrastructure. This is key for carriers seeking deploy 3G/3.5G services or who plan to introduce WiFi/WiMAX technologies (e.g., quadruple play services) in the near future, since there has been increased demand for mobile backhaul solutions that can realize both effective use of existing infrastructure facilities and upgradeability toward all-IP networks.


Making Quad Play Services Work
By Erik Linask

Convergin, (news - alert) which provides fixed and mobile telecom operators with a service interaction/service continuity solution, is taking its offering to the next level, adding IPTV integration into its Accolade WCS Service Capability Interaction Management (SCIM) product. Essentially, this will enable wireless, wireline, and cable operators to integrate IPTV into their existing service offerings — effectively allowing them to offer the quad play of services — and, importantly, maintain control over the interaction between their different services to maximize the subscriber experience.

The Accolade WCS is a network node that sits between the session control and switching layer and the application and service layer. “Its main role is controlling the action of multiple applications and services for a single session according to the services each user is subscribed to and should be receiving,” explained Tal Zoller, vice president of business development at Convergin.

What that means is the WCS manages the operator’s various services and the way they interact with each other on their paths from various application servers — whether head end servers, SIP applications servers, IMS application servers, Web applications, or legacy infrastructures, any combination thereof.

Significantly, in addition to enabling the roll-out of IPTV and SIP- or IMS-based applications and services, Convergin’s latest advance allows service providers to do so while still in the process of migrating to an IMS infrastructure. With the latest release of Accolade, they can continue their current migration path and not lose ground in the services game.


Cbeyond Offers New Combined Voicemail Box for Mobile and Landline Messages
By Divya Narain

Cbeyond (news - alert) has released its new Integrated Voicemail service that bundles up its mobile and landline voice messaging into one convenient voicemail box. The innovative service also has a unified messaging capability using that allows customers to access, save, forward, and back-up their voice messages from their email inbox. Among other utilities of the service are zero-out for assistance and real-time message notification. With the zeroout option, customers can let callers exit voicemail by dialing zero instead of having to leave a message. Moreover, the real-time message notification feature sends an email, SMS and/or IVR alert to the customer’s mobile phone when a voicemail is left on the landline phone.


T-Mobile Picks Alcatel-Lucent to Enhance its GSM Net
By Johanne Torres

Alcatel-Lucent (quote - news - alert) has been picked by T-Mobile (the mobile business arm of Deutsche Telekom) to enhance its GSM network with GSM/EDGE technology in order to increase its speed. EDGE technology reportedly enables data rates of up to 220 kbit/s. The move will enable the mobile operator to offer its German subscribers with more advanced multimedia services and expand the availability of its “Web ‘n’ Walk” mobile Internet service.

Alcatel-Lucent expects the GSM/EDGE network to be upgraded and operational by the end of this year. Alcatel-Lucent has agreed to replace thousands of existing GSM base stations in T-Mobile’s network with its latest 9100 Multi-standard Base Station product line. Under the agreement, Alcatel-Lucent will manage the project overall, including the integration of the network, the old equipment removal and the installation of the new equipment, as well as the management of all subcontractors.


Teltronics Launches Cerato VoIP Products for Small Enterprises
By Johanne Torres

Teltronics (news - alert) has launched Cerato SE, a new suite of VoIP products for small enterprises. The suite features an integrated automated attendant, voicemail, unified messaging, call recording, as well as voice compression for VoIP traffic. Cerato SE’s features are comprised in an executive digital phone, or an executive VoIP phone — both models offer an optional Button Expansion Module (BEM). The suite features PC dialing, call routing, remote extensions, SIP trunking and remote maintenance.

The suite’s Automated Attendant feature is capable of handling customer calls with interactive voice messages and menus. The offering features Secure Encryption Algorithm (AES) and comes pre-configured for an easier installation, utilizing a Web-based interface. Administrators can also make system changes, configuration modifications and extension programming from the Web-based interface.


SIP-based VoIP Platform Enables Online Whiteboarding
By Erik Linask

SIP-based platforms and hardware are enabling a new era of communications, which are not only easier and more efficient, but also offer countless new features and functionality to enable colleagues, friends, and family members to communicate in a more collaborative fashion than ever before.

damaka (news - alert) is bringing many of those efficiencies to users by way of its patent pending SIP-based Personal Softswitch, which is revolutionary in that it brings the VoIP platform to the end user, meaning that anyone, whether in the office, at home, or in a hotel, can take advantage of the benefits of SIPbased communications, regardless of what other equipment is available.

Now, in addition to phone and video calling, including presence features and IM capabilities, and desktop sharing and file transfer, damaka is introducing a secure whiteboard feature. With it, users can draw freehand with online contact globally, just as they can speak, share files, and instant message, enabling realtime collaboration on technical projects, document editing, or anything else that can benefit from live mark-up capabilities, like distance learning facilities and designers.


ADTRAN Looks to Grow VoIP Sales with Enhanced Channel Program
By Erik Linask

ADTRAN, (news - alert) which supplies routers, switches, and VoIP equipment to the SMB and carrier markets, has expanded its North American channel sales program, through which it addresses the SMB market (it has a direct sales forces that handles the carrier accounts).

With the addition of a new mid-tier partnership level, ADTRAN hopes to attract new partners, thereby expanding its own presence as well as providing those new partners with a reach into the SMB market — specifically, the 20 to 50 seat business, which it says is its sweet spot.

“The goal is to not only increase our presence in that segment, but to increase our partners’ ability to win so that they can get incremental business by incorporating ADTRAN products into their solution,” said ADTRAN’s vice president of channel sales Ted Cole. The most obvious enhancement is the addition of the new mid-tier partner level — to complement the ADvantage Plus and Registered partners. Combined, ADTRAN has more than 1,000 partners, more than 250 of which have been added during the last three months, including at least 85 Advantage partners, the new tier.


TalkSwitch Intros VoIP Phone System for Small Business
By Johanne Torres

TalkSwitch (news - alert) introduced the 244vs, a new VoIP-enabled phone system, which the company wants to target at small and multi-location businesses with up to four telephone users. The company says this system is the “most affordable hybrid telephone system on the market.”

The new system is the latest addition to the TalkSwitch line of hybrid IP/PSTN PBXs. 244vs has room for two incoming phone company (CO) lines, offers four local extensions, and supports four VoIP trunks. The system is compatible with other TalkSwitch systems.


Vocalscape’s VoIP Load Balancer Distributes Calls More Evenly
By Patrick Barnard

Vocalscape Networks, (news - alert) which provides VoIP telephony solutions and communications software for service providers, has introduced a load balancer for VoIP systems that includes a new algorithm that distributes calls more evenly.

The Vocalscape Load Balancer began as an open source project which was adopted by — and then improved upon — by Vocalscape. Specifically, it was made Asterisk compatible, plus the algorithm was revised to allow for more even call distribution between all available servers at all times, allowing for greater availability. The Load Balancer also has been endowed with new failover capabilities, so that calls can be routed around an unresponsive server.




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