Session Border Controller Roundup


Session Border Controller Roundup

By Paula Bernier, Executive Editor, TMC  |  May 14, 2014

SBCs have long been a staple in carrier networks to enable secure carrier-to-carrier interconnectivity, and now many enterprises are using session border controllers as well. According to an Infonetics Research report issues in March, the E-SBC market grew a whopping 42 percent last year, to $255 million.

"Demand for enterprise session border controllers continues to be strong as businesses transition to SIP trunking. North America remains the primary region for the E-SBC market, but enterprises in other regions, particularly Europe, are accelerating adoption of SIP trunking, which in turn should positively impact E-SBC sales outside North America," notes Diane Myers, principal analyst for VoIP, UC, and IMS at Infonetics.

In this month’s roundup, INTERNET TELEPHONY invited suppliers of both carrier and enterprise SBCs to tell us about their products.

ADTRAN (News - Alert)

ADTRAN offers a comprehensive session border controller solution set that provides resellers and managed service providers the tools necessary to stabilize, secure and troubleshoot the SIP to SIP communication between the service provider network and their customers’ premises. The solutions enhance and simplify IP service deployment and traffic control in any business environment from the small business to the large enterprise. ADTRAN’s SBC software feature pack is targeted at small and medium-sized businesses, and is available on multiple hardware platforms including ADTRAN’s NetVanta 3430 and 4430 routers, NetVanta 6250 and 6300 series of IP Business Gateways, as well as the market leading Total Access 900e series of IP Business Gateways. In March 2014, ADTRAN expanded its SBC portfolio by adding the NetVanta 6410 SBC appliance for the large enterprise. The complete SBC toolset offers interoperability with a broad set of features that include SIP Header Manipulation Rules, media anchoring, packet capture, voice quality monitoring, SIP security inspection firewalls, and more.


2013 was a breakthrough year for Alcatel-Lucent in the session border controller market, rising to the No. 2 market position, according to Infonetics. Alcatel-Lucent’s SBCs are high performance, provide optimal support for new service types, and are cost competitive. Alcatel-Lucent IP Border Controllers solution is now ready to meet the next wave of opportunities driven by mobile IP, WebRTC, and cloud. As part of Alcatel-Lucent cloud communications, the IBC solution is virtualized and cloud-enabled with the support of cloud hardware technologies to provide fast deployment and rapid scaling over smaller points of presence, in larger central offices, or data centers supporting millions of subscribers. This alternative to the native hardware-based model delivers unrivalled bearer processing with high capacity throughput and provides strong DDoS protection able to protect against small packet attacks. Moreover, it features low overhead and run-to-completion scheduling to allow for the replacement of digital signal processors while maintaining high performance compute resources on commercial off the shelf hardware.


AudioCodes offers a highly diverse portfolio of session border controllers, designed for enterprise and service provider applications. Offered in a range of scales from just a few sessions on the Mediant 500 platform, up to the 16,000 session flagship Mediant 9000 and software-only SBC, AudioCodes has an SBC solution for any size business, cloud application, branch office, or enterprise. The Mediant 800, 1000 and 3000 SBC appliances are offered in optional hybrid gateway/SBC configurations and transcoding, making the migration from TDM to SIP trunking seamless – a key differentiator that reduces risk and improves survivability. The Mediant 2600 and 4000 offer mid-market scaling for enterprises with optional transcoding DSP resources. With embedded quality of experience measurement and reporting, AudioCodes SBCs play an important role in ensuring a superior user experience and high voice quality across an entire unified communications voice network. Using the new SBC wizard, provisioning and configuration of an AudioCodes SBC is even easier – answer a few simple questions and a configuration template is created and loaded into the SBC, saving time and eliminating common configuration mistakes.


Avaya is a leader in supporting the enterprise move to SIP-based communications. Whether it's to lower costs using IP telephony or to take advantage of the latest UC collaboration applications, SIP is emerging as the industry standard. With the enterprise benefits from the reduction in access costs and the support for a varied set of client devices, the move to SIP has also led to an increased concern for maintaining network integrity and security. Avaya Session Border Controller for Enterprise supports up to 5,000 sessions offering a complete application-layer security architecture in one device: SIP firewall, session border controller, intrusion detection system and intrusion prevention system, access controller, authentication, unified communications proxy, and policy enforcement, protecting all real-time unified communication applications, and any SIP-based collaboration solution. The Avaya SBCE enables remote workers to connect securely without VPN, helping to manage the use of consumer devices within any enterprise network. It provides high-speed SIP connectivity for service providers while securing the network border against security attacks. The SBCE provides multi-level security protection for extended, cascaded network architectures. The Avaya SBCE is available in simplex or HA architectures, as a low-cost server or a VMware compatible virtualized appliance, offering secure SIP protection for midmarket or large enterprise installations.


Founded in 1999, Cirpack provides core network solutions including session border controller and voice trunking and access (VTA softswitch) solutions. Thanks to its local presence in France, Germany and Mexico, Cirpack provides close support to its 150 telecom operators customers. The Cirpack SBC responds to today’s crucial need for security and network protection while adding valuable and innovative features to operators and end users. To provide the right solution for each network, Cirpack offers a large range of SBC products, from standalone to decomposed SBC units that are fully integrated into broader solutions. They deliver scalability from 250 to 64,000 SIP sessions, from 2,500 to 250,000 end users. They offer the capability to stack the equipment for larger capacity requirements, reducing service interruption risks due to hardware. They can enable such applications as VoLTE, residential VoIP, PBX trunking, cloud PBX and UC, end user mobility and nomadism, SIP national and international interconnection with media and fax transcoding, signaling and media encryption functions. These solutions are compliant with the ETSI TISPAN & 3GPP IP multimedia IP subsystem evolution to VoLTE. The Cirpack SBC is increasingly being deployed as a SIP interconnection solution with external network, compliant with international and specific national standards in countries such as France, Germany, and Italy.

Cisco Systems

When connecting from the edge of the enterprise network to the service provider network, organizations can deploy session border controller technology with SIP trunking to gain benefits such as substantial cost savings, improved reliability and rich collaboration with customers, partners and suppliers. Cisco Unified Border Element (CUBE) is Cisco's SBC, a key part of Cisco's Collaboration Edge Architecture. Unlike other standalone SBCs, CUBE is a software solution integrated onto Cisco routers. Its unique benefits are as follows. Smoother migration to SIP trunking: Deploy CUBE and Cisco voice gateways simultaneously on the router, allowing time to test and learn the new technology until the cutover. Because CUBE is activated with a simple software upgrade, often no new hardware is required. Deployment flexibility: CUBE is scalable and cost-effective, with multiple deployment options (centralized, distributed, or hybrid) so customers can customize their SIP trunk architecture. CUBE also interoperates with standards-based IP PBXs. Better security: CUBE's integrated voice-policy goes beyond static white/black lists to policy-based evaluation of call patterns and media flows, to prevent abuses such as toll fraud or telephony denial of service. Investment maximization: CUBE offers additional services, including secure rich-media collaboration for remote workers, call recording, contact center integration, and more.

Dialogic Inc.

Dialogic BorderNet session border controllers give service providers and enterprises a better way to interconnect and deliver services through media and signaling session performance, secure any-to-any IP connectivity, native software transcoding, and an integrated Web 2.0 management console. The BorderNet Virtualized Session Border Controller is a virtualized full-featured SBC with native software transcoding, making it well suited for network functions virtualization initiatives. It provides elastic scalability for unparalleled session control and security, and cost-effective licensing lets you go from low traffic volumes all the way up to 8,000 simultaneous sessions at 200 sessions per second. The BorderNet 4000 Session Border Controller provides high-capacity security and session management in a carrier-class platform for peering and access applications in mobile and fixed environments. Service providers can take advantage of comprehensive security, session control, native software transcoding, and interworking capabilities to offer high-quality SIP and H.323 services. Both platforms enable you to rapidly deploy SIP trunk, unified communications, hosted contact center, and business and consumer VoIP services. Comprehensive security features include topology hiding, firewall, overload protection, dynamic black listing, and multiple encryption options for protecting service and network integrity.

Edgewater Networks

Edgewater Networks has more than 10 years of experience in providing managed services platforms for the delivery of real-time communications, including IP-based voice, video and data services. More than four million Edgewater Enterprise Session Border Controller sessions are currently deployed by some of the largest service providers, including one of the two largest U.S. carriers and three of the top five U.S. cable operators. Edgewater's products address the challenges to secure and reliable enterprise unified communications, including device and protocol interoperability, security and policy management, troubleshooting and QoS. With more than 200,000 units deployed, Edgewater products are used to deliver reliable, differentiated, business class services by leading carriers, cable operators, service providers, and enterprises. The comprehensive Edgewater solution consists of three products:  EdgeMarc Enterprise Session Border Controllers – to simplify the deployment of converged voice, video and data services while improving call quality, security and the overall end user experience; EdgeProtect Enterprise Session Border Controllers – to enable enterprises to securely and simply extend unified communications applications to remote employees; and EdgeView VoIP Support System – to allow service providers and enterprises to reduce operating expenses by streamlining configuration, automating routine tasks, and simplifying the diagnosis and resolution of networking issues.

Ingate Systems

Ingate E-SBCs make it easy to deploy SIP trunks and UC applications. The Ingate SIParator is a cost-effective E-SBC that is interoperable with major IP PBXs and SIP trunking service providers. Ingate’s SIP Trunking Startup Tool configures the SIParator in three easy steps, so enterprises can leverage the economic and productivity benefits available with SIP trunking immediately. For service providers, Ingate products offer a high-quality, reliable SIP trunk demarcation point between the customer’s IP PBX and the service provider network. Ingate solves interoperability issues to simplify deployments, and supports remote diagnosis of reported issues. Placed at the customer edge, Ingate provides secure firewall traversal, diagnostics and security to simplify SIP trunk implementations whether over a managed connection or the public Internet. Ingate products are available as appliances and software deliverables and can support up to 10,000 sessions. Ingate’s WebRTC & SIP PBX Companion integrates the PBX, call center and UC infrastructure with WebRTC. It includes Ingate’s Q-TURN technology, enabling WebRTC’s video and audio to be delivered with high quality into the enterprise LAN. Q-TURN incorporates a TURN server in the SIParators so that enterprises can control access to their network and enable packet tagging for WebRTC quality of service. 

Metaswitch Networks

The Perimeta SBC from Metaswitch is the first in a new generation of session border controllers. It is unique in having been architected from the outset as a carrier-class software SBC solution, and has been specifically designed to address the issues carriers see when operating SBCs in real-world networks. Unlike legacy SBCs, Perimeta is not dependent on proprietary equipment. Perimeta’s multi-threaded and multi-core aware software architecture leverages the processing power of today’s Intel CPUs to produce unrivalled performance and scalability. Perimeta can run on standard server hardware (ATCA, Dell, Cisco, HP, IBM), or from within a hypervisor in a virtualized environment, providing cutting-edge performance and platform flexibility. Virtualizing SBCs is a critical component in the march toward network functions virtualization and in helping to transition operators into being true software telcos. Perimeta’s software heritage means it is leading the charge in this area, and is the only SBC built on exactly the same codebase throughout, no matter what the underlying hardware. As certified by Miercom’s independent third-party testing, even under extreme overloading scenarios, Perimeta continues to operate at its optimum – processing valid session requests and forwarding traffic without compromising quality of service or security.

Oracle (News - Alert) Communications

The Oracle Communications Session Border Controller enables communications service providers to deliver trusted, real-time communications services across IP network borders. The Oracle Communications Session Border Controller is designed to satisfy all session border control requirements for fixed line, mobile, and over-the-top service providers, enabling trusted interactive communications across IP network borders. The functions offered by the solution satisfy critical service provider requirements in five major areas, including security, interoperability, reliability and quality, regulatory compliance, and revenue/cost optimization. Similarly, the Oracle Communications Enterprise Session Border Controller connects disparate IP communications networks while mitigating security threats, curing interoperability problems, and ensuring reliable communications for businesses. The solution is specifically designed to address the unique security, interoperability, and reliability challenges that businesses often encounter when extending interactive voice, video, and unified communications across SIP trunks. Oracle Communications Enterprise Session Border Controller supports distributed, centralized, and hybrid session initiation protocol trunking topologies.


Patton has been producing session border controllers since 2010. Designed to meet carrier specifications the SmartNode 5300 Enterprise Session Border Router (provides SIP-to-SIP normalization for up to 250 VoIP calls. Ideal for offering SIP trunking services to enable unified communications, Patton’s newest SIP SBC solution provides SIP-to-SIP normalization for up to 250 VoIP calls—with industry-renowned set-it-forget-it reliability. Proven interoperability with every major customer IP-PBX, carrier softswitch and core SBC—combined-with Patton’s auto-provisioning service—means carrier-providers can use the SN5300 to activate new subscribers quickly and easily, with no interop snags and no expensive truck roll. SmartNode SBCs go way beyond avoiding the dreaded truck roll, delivering high-quality voice, fax that works, fraud protection, voice-and-data survivability. An optional built-in EFM interface enables carriers to use existing copper network facilities to deliver high-speed services —without the added cost and complexity of an external EFM modem. The included stateful firewall prevents intrusions from the public network, so the SN5300 can also serve as a network-access router, reducing network complexity while lowering hardware costs. Industry-standard upstream and Patton’s DownStreamQos ensure high-quality voice within the subscriber premises. By preserving intra-office calling if the Internet connection fails, the SmartNode SIP registrar provides survivability and business continuity. SmartNode—like all Patton products—comes with Patton’s Gold-Standard Free Support at no additional charge. Patton’s Platinum-Plus Premium 24/7 Support is also available.


Session border control equipment is primarily intended for session security and admission control between two network endpoints across a network border. In an IMS architecture, the SBC was never intended to provide transcoding between mismatched endpoint codecs, particularly video transcoding, resulting in scaling limitations between signaling and media transcoding requirements. Increasingly, network planners are embracing network functions virtualization and decomposed SBC architectures, where border signaling gateway requirements are scalable and independently deployed from transcoding performed in adjunct media processors. Radisys media processing solutions, deployed globally for VoLTE, conferencing and VAS services, are an ideal IP-IP multimedia transcoding solution for network operators, as well as decomposed SBC and gateway vendors. Radisys supports a wide range of high-volume codec requirements, including AMR-WB transcoding for VoLTE deployments, or HD H.264-to-VP8 video transcoding and transrating for WebRTC gateway applications. Radisys transcoding capabilities can be controlled using SIP- or web-based interfaces in 3rd Party Call Control architectures, or deployed inline in a Back-to-Back User Agent configuration. Radisys transcoding capabilities can be economically delivered as virtualized media processing for the telecom cloud, software media processing on Intel servers, or high-capacity media processing on the MPX-12000 Broadband MRF. 

Sangoma Technologies (News - Alert)

All of Sangoma’s SBCs provide carrier-grade functionality, including toll fraud, denial of service attacks and eavesdropping protection, and enable VoIP traffic to navigate firewalls and ensure interoperability between different SIP implementations. For corporate networks, Sangoma is an industry leader in enterprise session border controllers, right-sized for the corporate network; they are super easy to license and manage. Sangoma is known for producing premium telephony products that just work. The Vega eSBC from Sangoma has an attractive price point and as a result delivers exceptional value. Sangoma offers a Vega Enterprise SBC for Customer Premise, a Vega Enterprise SBC Virtural Machine model, and Vega SBC Hybrid Solution that delivers the flexibility, redundancy and durability of a VM-Ready Solution with the scalability of a hardware-based solution. For the ITSP, Sangoma’s carrier-class SBC is designed to handle the high call volumes that carriers experience and provide a full range of benefits for their critical operations. Sangoma’s NetBorder Carrier SBC is field-upgradeable and supports up to 4,000 sessions (simultaneous calls). Finally, Sangoma offers an all-in-one Lync appliance, Lync Express, which integrates both a VoIP gateway and SBC and cuts Lync deployment times in half.

Sonus Networks (News - Alert)

Sonus Networks offers a complete offering of virtualized and hardware-based SBCs that enable end-to-end, feature-rich multimedia communications from the enterprise branch office to the service provider cloud. The Sonus SBC portfolio features six hardware-based SBCs - the SBC 1000, the SBC 2000, the SBC 5100 Series, the SBC 5200 Series, the SBC 7000 and the SBC 9000 – supporting as few as one to as many as 150,000 media enabled sessions. Rounding out the portfolio is the SBC SWe, the industry's first software-based SBC architected to deliver unlimited scalability with the same advanced features and functionality of Sonus' hardware offerings. The SWe offers the same code-base as the Sonus SBC 5000 family of products but allows the customer to scale from as little as 25 to an unlimited number of sessions. The Sonus SBC portfolio provides the industry's broadest end-to-end Microsoft (News - Alert) Lync qualified SBC solution, and Sonus is the first to enable unique performance technologies such as quality monitoring for Lync calls and wireless Lync survivability for branch offices in its portfolio. Sonus solutions are deployed in many of the world's leading networks spanning finance, oil and gas, manufacturing, education, retail, health care and pharmaceutical markets.

SwitchRay Inc.

SwitchRay’s session border controllers in the SR-S4500, SR-S5000 and SR-S6000 products control the signaling and media streams required for setting up, conducting, and terminating calls. These SBCs are positioned on the network border and ensure secure and controlled connections throughout IP network borders, media processing, call routing, and signal handling. The access SBC integrates signaling and media control at the border, where subscribers access the network core. The transit SBC handles the same issues at the network border where service provider networks interconnect. The SBC provides high-quality network connecting through transcoding and protocol conversion, overall capacity, and ease of system integration. SR-S4500 protects the core of the VoIP network with call admission control and NAT traversal. It offers flexible RTP handling options and system normalization and repair. SR-S5000 is a multi-service platform, which allows customers to offer a Class 5 platform with the option of bundled Class 4 and Class 5 features. SR-S6000 combines two modules: a Transit Traffic Module (Class 4) and a Value Added Services module (Class 5), allowing providers to select from a combination of Class 4 and Class 5 licensing models. 

Edited by Maurice Nagle


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