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VoIP Enters Neutral Zone




As delivery of VoIP services becomes more attractive to carriers, they accordingly are looking to migrate their carrier-to-carrier connections. Since we last reported on this topic in the April 2004 issue of PHONE+, several additional options now are on the table in support of this goal.

In late May, for example, InfiniRoute Networks Inc. came on the scene to deliver a carrier-neutral interconnection service that integrates and manages voice and IP routing for wired, wireless and emerging carriers.

With IPartition, General Telecom provides IP switching with IP-to-IP call control and routing.

The result of the merger between IP Deliver and Proficient Networks, InfiniRoute Networks combines Proficient’s IP route optimization technology with IP Deliver’s managed VoIP service. “InfiniRoute delivers a service allowing carriers to instantly provision new carrier interconnections using VoIP while controlling traffic based on quality and price parameters,” says InfiniRoute CEO Robert Turner in a press statement. “This represents a dramatic leap forward over the old world that required costly and time consuming point to point Time Division Multiplexed (TDM) interconnections.”

The company seeks to help carriers quickly migrate interconnections from legacy TDM to direct VoIP interconnections without major capital investment and the required integration of VoIP equipment and software. InfiniRoute Networks’ Managed Voice Platform (MVP) enables telecommunications carriers to terminate packetized voice conversations by providing a turnkey managed service integrated with CPE, international route capacity and outbound voice services.

The MVP platform provides VoIP connectivity management - from voice route setup and monitoring to CDR generation to reporting to IP routing. The InfiniRoute support team works with the carrier to ensure business goals are met, SLAs for uptime of routes are monitored and call quality is on target. Depending on the existing network environment, the customer may require additional components to deploy InfiniRoute’s MVP. These components may include a MUX, an SS7 signaling controller, media gateways and IP routers. InfiniRoute’s Platform Delivery and Qualification (PDQ) services assist customers with the specification, configuration and deployment of this additional equipment.


IPartition also is available with optional address screening.

The InfiniRoute MVP Standard service offers a pricing plan based on traffic usage. Premium service provides carriers with traffic up to a full DS3’s worth of minutes per month for a fixed monthly price. Both service packages include the ability for a customer to make changes to routing and to add new routes. Both also include 24×7 NOC services, which monitor and troubleshoot the MVP platform and offer first-tier support for other VoIP equipment such as media gateways and SS7 signaling equipment.

Customers can access call detail information using a Web accessible interface. Real-time call volume, ASR and average call length stats are gathered and available on a 15-minute interval. The user interface provides the customer for both pre-defined queries and ad-hoc queries based on time, date, call destination and more.

General Telecom also announced in mid-May a new switching service, IPartition, enabling IP-to-IP network control and routing across gateways, using a variety of protocols.

The IP-to-IP peering service is in addition to its VoIP Direct service for IPTDM partitioning announced in February 2003. IPartition Basic Service includes IP switching, IP-to-IP call control and routing. IPartition Premium Service has optional address screening or “topology hiding” which enables signaling to one IP address so that customer/vendor interconnections remain private.

Wholesalers also receive 24×7 NOC services, Web-based reporting and proactive Traffic Performance Alarming. They also have access to General Telecom’s Global Village, a free matchmaking service for carriers seeking to buy and sell routes. More than 60 carriers are part of the Global Village.

LayerOne, a of network-neutral data centers and communications services, also launched of its VoIP peering platform earlier this year, creating a distributed private IP Ethernet community that enables direct, native IP peer-to-peer connectivity. The service requires only one port to provide one-to-many connections. Participants connect to the peering fabric via a Fast Ethernet port.

LayerOne uses a /24 micro-allocation to assign a unique IP address to a softswitch or gateway on the customer VoIP network to create a network entry point. Peering participants can then buy, sell or trade IP minutes with other providers within the same LayerOne facility, or use Layer 2 transport to exchange traffic between multiple providers in other LayerOne facilities located in major U.S. markets.

Subscribers to the VoIP platform also have direct access to a portal on LayerOnes web site to post upto- the-minute information about available routes, rates, authorized sales representatives and general contact information. VoIP peering participants can take immediate advantage of this competitive information to select least-cost routing and reroute traffic through their own routers in a matter of minutes.

Internap, which offers Performance Path IP Connectivity, with policy-based routing for voice over IP traffic to and from connected carriers. Using patented technology, offers redundant, high-speed connections to all major Internet backbones, ensuring operational continuity by routing around network congestion, hotspots and disabled providers.

The Internap service model is tied to its facilities, so the company now offers another option to carriers colocating in Tier 2 cities where Internap does not have locations. “We provide technology to enable service providers to realize applications that demand more than best efforts,” says Eric Kinkler, vice president of engineering for the company. The technology, called the Flow Control Platform, was acquired by the company through an acquisition last fall. “It can be deployed wherever networks come together,” says Kinkler. Typically, it sits between the carrier’s IP gateway and the Internet.

In May, Internap announced that FCP was enhanced to include application awareness to give network operators the ability to set policies and separate out priority traffic like voice. With this upgrade, some of Internap’s customers using the service model also are using the FCP, Kinkler says.

Links

InfiniRoute Networks Inc. www.infiniroute.com
General Telecom www.gentel.net
LayerOne www.layerone.com


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