Quintum Upgrades Deliver Dual-Protocol VOIP Gateways

The VOIP gateway manufacturer in the low-port-count category delivers a VOIP off-ramp that can take H.323 or SIP calls as they come.

Quintum Technologies Inc. offered upgrades to its entire Tenor line of VOIP gateways and Multipath switches to support both reigning VOIP signaling protocols: the waning but still dominant H.323, and the increasingly popular SIP (Session Initiation Protocol).

The Eatontown, N.J.,company announced Monday that its Tenor AS, AX, and DX gateways and Multipath switches can now flip from one VOIP spec to the other on an incoming call-by-call basis. Outbound calls will be sent based on configured preference.

Such gateways are intermediate, migratory steps towards VOIP. Installed and configured between a legacy corporate PBX and a router, the gateway lets traditional phone system users send or receive calls through the company data pipe to branch offices at other sites with gateways installed, or VOIP service providers. This plan can save toll charges and often unifies a multinational business under one four-digit dial plan.

Quintum Technologies Dual H.323-SIP support is doubly migratory: It not only preserves the investment of legacy phone systems while using VOIP, but it interoperates with a wide range of IP phones and PBXs. This capability enables multisite enterprises to link up heterogeneous branches of early-adopted, H.323 gateways or IP PBXes with branches that have later-model SIP phones and SIP routing servers.

The gateways will also work with SIP-based Windows Messenger, mediating between circuit-switched PBX extensions and anyone calling in from an XP laptop or desktop.

According to the company, the Multipath version of the Tenor gateway can inspect incoming or outgoing voice traffic to intelligently route it over IP or TDM.

Chuck Rutledge, Quintum vice president of marketing, observed that this Multipath gateway correctly routes calls to VOIP-equipped branch offices or to the gateway best located for network hop-off to the PSTN. Most importantly, he said, it does this without changes to PBX programming or user behavior, as in, "dial star-8 to go through the VOIP line." This allows customers to deploy VOIP transparently to the existing phone network, said Rutledge.

All Tenor versions incorporate a PSTN failover scheme in mid-call if voice quality degrades on the data network. Branch-office gateways, used with SIP phones to gateway out to the PSTN, will take over if a headquarters SIP PBX goes down. "Those phones can register with the local Tenor switch and route out to the phone network," Rutledge said.

SIP support is available at no charge as a software upgrade to AS (2 or 4 ports), AX (8, 16, or 24 ports) or DX (supporting one to four T-1 lines, with 24 ports each line) series Tenor gateways and Multipath switches. On retired A and D series Tenor models, only one VOIP mode—H.323 or SIP—will operate at a time. Quintum has established SIP interoperability with a range of gateways, including those of Audiocodes Ltd., Vegastream Ltd., and Mediatrix Telecom Inc. as well as with IP phones from Cisco Systems Inc. and PingTel Corp..


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