Minutes trader Arbinet-thexchange Inc., which launched what it calls a partitioned softswitch service last year for the termination of VoIP traffic, has now extended that service with the addition of TDM ports for customers that do not yet have the infrastructure to deliver VoIP traffic.
Steve Heap, CTO of Arbinet, says the company decided to add the TDM option for incoming traffic because larger TDM carriers were missing opportunities because potential partners have migrated to VoIP and no longer want to maintain expensive TDM interconnects between the two, he said.
In some of the larger TDM carriers, teams are working on their evolution strategy, but they have no solution now.
Therefore, Arbinet added TDM connection to its service. Customers connect to Arbinet using TDM. Arbinet then converts traffic to VoIP and links to its softswitch partition. TDM carriers can then connect to VoIP customers using their existing TDM infrastructure. So, they dont have to do internal business cases, pick vendors, get engineering teams trained, Heap says. We offer it on per-minute basis. So they can pick up a new partner and know what it will cost them.
Arbinet provides TDM switching capability to do the signaling in order to handle all the international variants of SS7. The traffic is then converted to VoIP and routed by the softswitch to an appropriate remote gateway. Arbinet provides call-detail records and reports, and a simple invoicing package. Although the service is managed, customers create their own relationships with trading partners, setting rates and terms.
The service uses the NexTone Communications Inc.s session border controller, which provides the protocol mediation between VoIP and TDM.
Heap explains that a softswitch partition is conceptually similar to a TDM switch partition, but instead of using physical ports, the service uses virtual ports for each customer. This provides great flexibility in bandwidth, and gives customers the ability to grow without having to purchase or install additional infrastructure.