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MetaSwitch Broadens Call Agent, Distributed-Network Choices

MetaSwitch (Booth 828), a vendor of Class 5 VoIP softswitches, has extended its portfolio of softswitch products with the introduction of a new high-capacity call-agent server, the CA9020 Call Agent.

In addition, the company has announced that its VP3510 can be configured as a standalone media gateway and/or signaling gateway, enhancing the vendors distributed softswitch system.

This move makes MetaSwitch the first vendor to offer a choice of a media gateway or a server platform as call-agent options. MetaSwitch augments standard Intel-based servers for additional connectivity options and greater ruggedness.

In a softswitch network architecture, the call agent (also sometimes known as a media gateway controller) performs the call-processing functions, which include service intelligence, call-routing logic, lawful interception, control of subtended media and signaling gateways, and billing.

The MetaSwitch Call Agent software, whether on the CA9020 or VP3510, performs all of these functions, delivering more than 100 Class 5 subscriber services as well as a broad range of Class 4 signaling transfer point (STP) and tandem capabilities. Protocols that it supports include SIP, MGCP, H.248 and SIGTRAN (SS7 and ISDN over IP/SCTP).

The Call Agent software conforms to softswitch standards, including the Multiservice Switching Forums (MSF) Release 2 Architecture. That compliance enables deployment of the products with third-party media gateways and signaling gateways, as verified at the recent Global MSF Interoperability event.

The CA9020 Call Agent is capable of up to 1 million busy-hour call attempts (BHCA) in a server just 2U high, making it one of the densest call-processing units available. The solution will be particularly attractive to larger carriers deploying distributed softswitch networks for consolidation of central offices up to 250,000 subscribers. In addition, the CA9020 supports eight physical gigabit Ethernet interfaces, allowing for secure network engineering with physically separate IP domains for control, media and management.

The new Call Agent server runs the same software load as the popular VP3510 Compact Class 5 Softswitch, confirming MetaSwitchs continued commitment to both the integrated compact softswitch and distributed call agent/media gateway deployment models. In addition, service providers who have deployed the VP3510 can move easily to the CA9020 thanks to automated installation and migration tools.

MetaSwitch is a division of established telecom technology provider Data Connection (DCL).


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