VOIPs Networking Tech Grows Up at Supercomm

Having established a foothold with voice over ip, telecommunications carriers are looking for new services to offer over their ip infrastructure.

Having established a foothold with voice over IP, telecommunications carriers are looking for new services to offer over their IP infrastructure. But before users jump headlong into IP networking, carriers have to show that VOIP is as accessible, affordable and reliable as traditional voice service.

Next week at Supercomm in Chicago, network equipment makers are eagerly unveiling new technologies to enable those expected network qualities.

To make IP services accessible to the SMB (small and midsize business) market, VegaStream Ltd., a London-based maker of dedicated VOIP gateways, will unveil the Vega 50 6x4 gateway.

Interoperable with the major PBX systems, the product connects existing enterprise infrastructure with carriers IP networks, allowing SMBs to take advantage of new IP offerings without trading in existing hardware.

AM Nexus Communications LLC, a VOIP and fax-over-IP service provider preparing to launch next month, has been testing the Vega 50 6x4 for two months, said Craig Fields, president of the company, which will focus on business users.

"We will have a cheaper cost of doing business, and we will pass that along to subscribers," Fields said. "Out of the gate, this is allowing us to be more cost-competitive."

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Also seeking to help SMBs leverage carriers IP systems without tossing legacy equipment, Adtran Inc., of Huntsville, Ala., will roll out its latest integrated access devices, the Total Access 900 series.

The devices give carriers a way to increase the profitability of serving smaller customers by using more cost-efficient platforms. The first three models in the series, which will be unveiled this week, connect to legacy PBX or key systems but differ in the number of analog interfaces available.

"Faxes and analog phones are going to be around for a while, even when most of the enterprise has migrated to IP," said Chris Thompson, product manager at Adtran, adding that the new devices are designed to bridge the gap between todays services and future services.

To help smooth carriers transition from legacy to Ethernet-based services, Ceterus Networks Inc., of Allen, Texas, will roll out its next-generation Multiservice Cross Connect product, called the UTX8212. This product offers a way to transition from services such as frame relay and TDM (time-division multiplexing) to Ethernet-based services without sacrificing quality of service. It allows carriers to deliver new services, such as VOIP, over the existing circuit infrastructure by using circuit-bonding technology, which is particularly useful for enterprises with sites located over a wide area.

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