eLECs Futuristic Network Center Supports New Wholesale Service

eLEC Communications Corp.s VoX Communications subsidiary has launched wholesale versions of its hosted VoIP services for residential and business customers.

The packages include more than 20 class 5 call features, voice mail and enhanced call handling. eLEC also is unbundling certain enhanced features for wholesale customers. Those features are delivered by the companys own hosted VoIP system, developed largely in house, but based on the SIP server suite.

The software was heavily modified because it was not designed to run anything other than a small enterprise, says Mark Richards, president of VoX Communications. eLEC wanted to provide VoIP services that would extend to the companys broad base of customers, from consumers to large enterprises.

eLEC has developed a VoIP infrastructure that resembles a high-performance Web data center rather than a traditional phone company, says Richards. He compares the companys network operation center to a Google server farm, with large, flexible computing resources.

The companys network operation center in White Plains, N.Y., is built on more than 20 Red Hat Inc. Linux servers, most performing different network tasks, though some are redundant devices.

You take a softswitch and break it down to the 20 to 30 things that a softswitch has to do to set up a call, maintain a call, account for a call and break it down, says Richards. We look at each component as a personality, and we asked, how many boxes do we need for each function, based on how many people are using the network.

That kind of structure, he says, can be scaled greatly as the company grows. Also, boxes can be assigned to perform different tasks as demand on the network dictates. And, if a server goes down, subscribers should not even have a call interrupted.

Much of the network software also is developed in-house, such as session border controller functionality, so it can poke through firewalls and set up sessions, says Richards.

eLEC also supports, throughout its services, termination and origination using both the G,711 and G.729 voice codecs. We found that 90 percent of the traffic in the United States is carried at G.711. So not a lot of companies are doing G.729, says Richards. However, with eLEC partner Global Crossing also supporting G. 729, as well as most of the vendors of hosted IP voice software, the company felt it would have a competitive advantage going forward to offer G.729 as an option.

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