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Optical/IP

MCI Vouches for Nortel's VOIP

ATLANTA -- Supercomm 2003 -- MCI (Nasdaq: MCIT) today picked Nortel Networks Corp. (NYSE/Toronto: NT) for a significant VOIP project, sending another signal that the convergence of IP networks and legacy voice networks is actually happening (see MCI Picks Nortel for VOIP).

MCI said it has picked Nortel's Passport Packet Voice Gateways as well its Succession Communication Server 2000 products to migrate all of its existing long-distance voice traffic to an IP network backbone. MCI said it's already deployed 36 Passport products and should deploy a total of 50 by the end of the year. MCI plans to have all of its voice traffic migrated to the IP backbone by 2005.

"We expect cost beneifts by consolidating networks and reducing the number of elements," said Rick Price, VP of Global Network Engineering with MCI. "The whole world of communications services is going to IP."

It's not clear how much money will change hands. But still, the move by MCI hints at the future of IP traffic in large telecom networks and bodes well for equipment vendors that have been preaching an IP convergence story, as has Nortel.

Nortel recently won a similar deal with Sprint Corp. (NYSE: FON) (see Sprint Starts on Softswitches), which also announced it would be migrating its long-distance traffic to an IP core. This combination of deals looks to have solidified Nortel's foothold as a leading VOIP player in North America.

— R. Scott Raynovich, US Editor, Light Reading

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Consultant 12/4/2012 | 11:58:20 PM
re: MCI Vouches for Nortel's VOIP The Nortel Succession is not a true softswitch. It is actually designed to increase the life span of legacy Class 5 switches such as Nortel's. Basically they place gateways in front of the Class 5 TDM switch and have engineered so that the it is transparent to the Class 5 switch. So two Class 5 switches talk to each using ATM as a transparent transport link.

And VoIP is not necessarily involved either. Rather it is ATM voice. Very connection oriented.

Interesting in some respects, but no breakthrough to Next-Gen networks. Certainly not when the idea is to extend the life of the Class 5 and ensure Nortel gets those mandatory software upgrades year after year after year and sell some ATM switches as well.



optical_man 12/4/2012 | 11:58:19 PM
re: MCI Vouches for Nortel's VOIP Author: Consultant Number: 1
Subject: Got It Wrong, Scott Date: 6/3/2003 10:12:34 PM
The Nortel Succession is not a true softswitch. It is actually designed to increase the life span of legacy Class 5 switches such as Nortel's. Basically they place gateways in front of the Class 5 TDM switch and have engineered so that the it is transparent to the Class 5 switch. So two Class

Consultant,
Who's paying you to consult? Can you not read the tea leaves on our world? Nortel, Alcatel and Lucent have the long term incumbency to FINALLY come back to life and bring some value to the table.
Did you really think that after 100 years, BellSouth, SBC, USWest, etc. were going to place their bets on 'up and comers'? Get a grip. I want VoIP. I really do. I have $ placed on some VoIP bets. It will happen, and it will happen in OUR lifetime, but the MAN will tell us how, and how long it will take. No amount of our throwing money at 'cool tech companies' will change that. That's like saying you are going to 'short' General Motors with all your friends to demand hydro carbon low emission cars. Ok, have fun. Our $1 compared to the Man's $38,000 is a no win game.
NT, LU, ALA, Siemens will figure it out internally, and purchase what they can't figure out.
BE HAPPY WE ARE MAKING STRIDES TOWARDS OUR END GOAL!

Never give up the fight, but Never, Never run towards a Large old fashioned CANNON with a BIG FLAG and a small gun, even if it IS a next gen Laser gun.... bide your time, you have friends coming.
link 12/4/2012 | 11:58:19 PM
re: MCI Vouches for Nortel's VOIP Consultant

If "The Nortel Succession is not a true softswitch", what defines a "true softswitch"?

optical_man 12/4/2012 | 11:58:18 PM
re: MCI Vouches for Nortel's VOIP Author: link Number: 2
Subject: True Softswitch? Date: 6/4/2003 1:25:14 AM
Consultant
If "The Nortel Succession is not a true softswitch", what defines a "true softswitch"?

Link,
Wow. Said it all in one sentence. Perfect stmt.



Consultant 12/4/2012 | 11:58:16 PM
re: MCI Vouches for Nortel's VOIP A true softswitch does not use a legacy Class 5 switch to generate features and do most of the processing. The Succession is a hybrid product.

A softswitch uses a distributed architecture that includes
1. Media gateways.
2. Call controller.
3. Class 5 features platform.
4. Signalling platform.

Consultant 12/4/2012 | 11:58:15 PM
re: MCI Vouches for Nortel's VOIP Optical Man,

Quit babbling. It's not a true softswitch. It's a legacy switch using ATM for transport.

PS: My consulting clients are PTTs.
dljvjbsl 12/4/2012 | 11:58:15 PM
re: MCI Vouches for Nortel's VOIP
Softswitches have an API which will allow an external application to control call set up. IP trunking replaces point to point trunks with an IP network.


I'd also like to add that the softswitch idea has been around for at least 20 years as CTI (Computer Telephony Integration.

CTI has been a market failure from the start. The idea that users of telephony system will want to program their own applications has not met with any success. I don't really know a reason why softswitches will meet with any more success than the old CTI systems or their AIN counterparts.
dljvjbsl 12/4/2012 | 11:58:15 PM
re: MCI Vouches for Nortel's VOIP
If "The Nortel Succession is not a true softswitch", what defines a "true softswitch"?


What 'consultant' describes as the functions of Succession is IP trunking. Softswitches have an API whihc will allow an external applications to control call set up. IP trunking replaces point to point trunks with an IP network.

I do not know why this MCI announcement is considered so signficant since voice has been compressed and networked like this for many years. Companies like Newbridege and Timeplex were compressing and multiplexing voice in the 1980s. The first systems like this, that I know of, were used on trans-Atlantic trunks (TASI - time assigned speech interpolation) in the 1950s.

Indeed the research on which IP voice is based came out of the TASI experience that is over 40 years old.

Like most things about IP, there is much less here than meets the eye. There was technology and competent engineers before IP and before the IETF even if that organization cannot see how this could be possible.
alchemy 12/4/2012 | 11:58:12 PM
re: MCI Vouches for Nortel's VOIP Consultant writes:
A softswitch uses a distributed architecture that includes
1. Media gateways.
2. Call controller.
3. Class 5 features platform.
4. Signalling platform.


Those are indeed components of a distributed soft switch architecture but that really doesn't define the term "Soft Switch".

My attempt:
A soft switch is a software-only call processing computer. The actual media path does not flow through the soft switch. It's assumed that the media path is actually some sort of IP network.

In my opinion, soft switching is great for class 4 applications. The call processing complexity is low and the number of interfaces is small. With class 5 switching, the complexity increases by a couple orders of magnitude and it's very difficult to keep a stable environment.

Consider the CableLabs PacketCable project as an example of a class 5 soft switch reference architecture intended for the Cable operators. I've provided a pointer to the PacketCable security spec. This is the only place where all the interfaces are actually identified in one diagram. (Beware, this document is a 6 megabyte PDF file.)

http://www.packetcable.com/dow...

Look at Figure 2 on page 29 to see exactly how many interfaces exist. Think about how unstable the network might become if you upgrade a component and it breaks an interface. Think about the matrix you'd have to construct for multi-vendor interoperability tests.

Look at figure 11 on page 113 to get a feel for the complexity to boot an IP telephone in this environment.

This architecture has littered the ground with failed soft switch startup companies. Cisco might have the resources to make it all work eventually but it will be a challenge to keep it stable. To date, the only companies that have success stories with the softswitch architecture have stuck to Class 4 and internet offload or are doing small IP PBX solutions.
whyiswhy 12/4/2012 | 11:58:10 PM
re: MCI Vouches for Nortel's VOIP Physical layer: to that I would add that in turn it provides Nortel with a high stability revenue stream.

The very definition of a GREAT product.

Screw the "latest and greatest" techno-bells and whistles: show me the money (a product generates).

-Why
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