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VoIP Systems

Veraz Signals SBC Shift

With yesterday's announcement of the Network-adaptive Border Controller, Veraz Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: VRAZ) has entered the session border controller (SBC) market. (See Veraz Intros SBC.)

The company says it has been in production since the fourth quarter of last year, and is already in operator networks -- including previous Veraz customers and customers looking to replace their SBC platforms.

Veraz is hoping to take advantage of its installed base by adding signaling functionality to its VOIP product portfolio.

The company says it can also apply the management system of its softswitches to centralized control of distributed SBCs, cutting down on operating expenses for the operator.

"The approach we take is to separate the signaling from the media gateway to provide a holistic view of the network. This gives you a single network view as opposed to a box-by-box solution," says Veraz vice president of marketing Dawn Hogh.

The Network-adaptive Border Controller doesn't need to be combined with Veraz's own I-Gate 4000 media gateway, but it does need media gateway functionality installed on a separate Sun server.

While Veraz touts its SBC as "the next generation of session border controllers," analysts and competitors point out that the product is really just a softswitch with signaling control built in.

"Veraz didn't come up with new products. They added SBC functionality to existing boxes," says Joe McGarvey at Current Analysis . As such, he says the company is "drawing a distinction between its products and what standalone vendors do."

"This is an example of another one of our distribution partners developing SBC envy and bringing out an inadequate product," says Kevin Mitchell, director of solutions marketing for SBC vendor Acme Packet Inc. (Nasdaq: APKT).

Veraz does have a distribution partnership with Acme, and the company says it will continue to offer Acme products if customers choose them. Mitchell isn't too worried.

"The burden is on newcomers to prove their product is better," he says. "Anyone bringing this to market in the last two to three years is way behind."

— Ryan Lawler, Reporter, Light Reading

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