Siemens Switches Away From EWSD
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