BT Deploys Ericsson VOIP Gear

As part its 21CN program, BT Global is deploying Ericsson softswitch technology around the world and retiring its Class 4 TDM switches

February 22, 2006

2 Min Read
BT Deploys Ericsson VOIP Gear

Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) might still be waiting for its finalized 21CN contract from BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA), but that's not preventing it from delivering VOIP infrastructure for the carrier's next generation network program. (See BT Nears 21CN Vendor Lockdown and Vendors Sign BT 21CN Contracts.)

The Swedish vendor is providing its AXD multiservice switch, which includes VOIP processing capabilities, to the carrier's international division, BT Global Services , which is investing £12 million ($20.9 million) to update its voice capabilities. (See BT Global Invests in VOIP.)

That investment is in addition to the expansion work BT is undertaking on its international MPLS network, currently being upgraded in line with the carrier's domestic next generation network plans. (See BT Expands Asia Pac Network and M&A Activities Firm Up BT Global.)

The carrier's primary objective is to replace the current Class 4 switches being used to switch voice traffic for about 1,000 corporate customers, says Tony Connor, general manager of global voice services at BT Global Services. According to Connor, the existing infrastructure needed replacing anyway, so this was the perfect time to make the migration.

Of the 30 markets affected, 11 of them, primarily located in the Asia/Pacific region, have been switched over to the VOIP system. And with BT aiming to migrate three countries per quarter, Connor reckons the old TDM equipment will be completely retired in 2008.

Connor reports that the replacement progress hasn't raised too many issues in terms of the new VOIP-capable gear, but did expose some weaknesses in the carrier's international network. "The MPLS network wasn't up to it [handling VOIP traffic] in some areas. The network in some countries had to be upgraded. The underlying transport needs to be at least an STM-1 [155 Mbit/s], while some countries only had an E1 [2 Mbit/s]."

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

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