Siemens Switches Away From EWSD

Siemens AG (NYSE: SI; Frankfurt: SIE) says it will discontinue sales and support for new EWSD digital switching platform in North America, Light Reading has learned.

EWSD (German acronym for Electronic Digital Switching System) is used in the central offices and remote locations of approximately 175 carriers in North America.

Sources say July 15 is the last day Siemens will manufacture the EWSD core switch and the last day carriers can order components and parts for their EWSD gear. Service and support, however, will go on until January 15, 2008.

"We did communicate to our customers that certain core hardware, including the core processor in the switch, is being discontinued, unless we have a contractual obligation to our customer that specifies otherwise," Siemens VP of marketing in North America Susan Schramm told Light Reading Friday.

Schramm says her company is discontinuing EWSD because, like other vendors, Siemens is switching its focus away from old TDM technology and toward newer VOIP and optical technology.

Heavy Reading analyst John Longo says those carrier customers could migrate their networks toward VOIP using Siemens HiQ gateways and softswitches. (See Siemens VOIP Wins at Time Warner .)

But other media gateway vendors could make a buck here, too. Genband Inc. , in particular, struck a deal with Siemens in October allowing it to port the EWSD's software to any number of next-generation switches. Genband essentially bought the right to rebuild the EWSD switching core and begin upgrading the rest of the voice network using its G6 Universal Access gateways. (See GenBand Buys Siemens Unit.)

GenBand says its approach leaves the necessary TDM switches in place while moving toward VOIP. "If you go to a GenBand approach you can save a large part of your access plant for your customers who are still on POTS lines, while moving toward a softswitch-based solution with the rest of the network," says Genband marketing VP Jody Bennett. Bennett points out that the new G6 gear can be used to control the older, TDM-based switches.

The discontinuation of the EWSD switching core gives Siemens EWSD customers a good reason to begin putting their TDM days behind them. "All of this TDM technology will eventually reach end-of-life," Heavy Reading's Longo says. "The question is how to move to a next-generation, softswitch-based solution." (See Report: Softswitch Has Bright Future.)

Longo says the merger of Siemens's network business with Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) may be the reason for the discontinuation of EWSD. "One of the things you have to look at is that Nokia has some switching platforms as well; so there may be some product rationalization going on." (See There's a New Bully on the Block.)

— Mark Sullivan, Reporter, Light Reading

megacop 12/5/2012 | 3:16:13 PM
re: Siemens Switches Away From EWSD Some of the top tier operating telcos are beginning to back away from a quick changeover to VOIP, saying they can not justify the CAPEX to replace systems that are already paid for.

It seems that they are starting to realize just how much money such a switchover will take and can't justify the cost when compared to projected voice revenues.
alchemy 12/5/2012 | 3:16:12 PM
re: Siemens Switches Away From EWSD megacop writes:
Some of the top tier operating telcos are beginning to back away from a quick changeover to VOIP, saying they can not justify the CAPEX to replace systems that are already paid for.

It seems that they are starting to realize just how much money such a switchover will take and can't justify the cost when compared to projected voice revenues.

It's not just the CAPEX. The ILECs have seen significant erosion in their residential wireline business. They now have far less subscribers on those Class 5 switches. Some customers unplug completely and go 100% cellular. Millions have moved to the cable triple play bundle. The distributed softswitch is very expensive both as CAPEX and later as OPEX. Most operators have staff trained to maintain those Class 5 switches and the switches are mature so they don't have to pay for expensive software upgrades. As the customer base shrinks and some switches get decomissioned, spares aren't going to be the problem since you'll be able to get them used for next to nothing. How can an operator justify doing a forklift upgrade in that kind of a freefalling market?

From what I can see, business services are even more competitive since any larger business can easily migrate over to VoIP from a plethora of service providers.
optodoofus 12/5/2012 | 3:16:10 PM
re: Siemens Switches Away From EWSD I would go a step further and say that the large carriers are afraid to push ahead aggressively on VOIP because of the poor quality of the softswitches available from their incumbent providers. I had a VP of network planning from a major carrier tell me that two or three years ago, there was a lot of push to move to VOIP as quickly as possible. But they have had such a bad experience with their incumbent vendors VOIP migration solution that they are afraid to move ahead quickly now. So, everything is slowing down. Which is great for the incumbent vendors since they will just continue to sell the carriers parts and service for their dinosaur TDM switches. Of course, this sucks for new vendors with high quality scalable VOIP solutions available today. You can't sell what no one wants to buy.

Unless carriers are willing to work with non-incumbent vendors, they won't get to VOIP any time soon.

susanschramm 12/5/2012 | 3:16:00 PM
re: Siemens Switches Away From EWSD Last week, Siemens communicated to our North American customers the future discontinuance of manufacture and factory support of our EWSD core subsystems including the CP113, SNB, CCNC and MB/CCG. When Light Reading reported this on January 19th, there were several areas that were mis-communicated that I'd like to clarify:
1. Though the headline of Light Reading's article read" Siemens Switches Away from EWSD", our customers need to know that Siemens WILL continue to offer ALL the equipment needed to supply our North American customers with EWSD growth, support and features. We are signing long term contracts with our customers every day to do just that.

2. Only the core product that is required for NEW EWSD TDM systems is affected by this announcement. Most of our carrier customers are indicating that they no longer are interested in installing NEW TDM systems and that their new switch replacement investment is directed towards NGN Softswitch solutions.

3. Siemens WILL CONTINUE TO MANUFACTURE all EWSD equipment needed for growth of installed Siemens EWSD switches as well as what is needed to support repair and return. Additionally the RSU is still in manufacture, and can be used as a total TDM switch replacement option for customers with existing EWSD systems that need to, and want to continue to expand their EWSD presence in their networks.

4. Siemens WILL CONTINUE TO PROVIDE SUPPORT for EWSD core subsystems through any standard system care contract, just as we do all post- warranty equipment, new or refurbished. Only those EWSD core subsystems that are POST-warranty and NOT covered by a system care contract will support be stopped in January 2008.

5. The GENBAND relationship with Siemens enables GENBAND to provide open interfaces for IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) or soft-switch-based network solutions to the Siemens North American EWSD. GENBAND does NOT have the right to rebuild the EWSD core, or port EWSD software to other switches.

6. This discontinuance has NOTHING to do with the Nokia Siemens Networks joint venture, since Nokia does not provide fixed network switching products.

I hope this helps clear up the confusion that may have been caused by the Light Reading article.
Siemens has been providing switching products to customers in North American for over 20 years, and over these years we have evolved our products to meet the needs of our customers many times. This announcement simply reflects the changing needs of Siemens' North American customers.

We stand ready to support our customers in optimizing their investment in EWSD, and in readying their networks for the future.


Susan Bailey Schramm
Vice President, Marketing
Siemens Networks LLC
Boca Raton, FL
DCITDave 12/5/2012 | 3:15:58 PM
re: Siemens Switches Away From EWSD Thanks for the concise clarification.

The old headline for the article read: "Siemens Communicates To North American Customers The Future Discontinuance of Manufacture and Factory Support for its EWSD Core Subsystems Including the CP113, SNB, CCNC and MB/CCG."

Someone on the copy desk must have shortened it.

I'll look into it.

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