In the past, voice was king. The telecommunications infrastructure had been built to deliver toll-quality dial tone to anywhere in the world. Data traffic was the unloved stepchild and was forced to fit into the existing voice infrastructure. Revenue generated from voice service far exceeded revenue from data.
The Internet has changed all that. Now data has overtaken voice not only in bandwidth use on carrier networks, but also in revenue generated for operators. Revenue for voice is also being squeezed. New investments in network infrastructure are being targeted at data rather than the voice needs. This makes business sense given the shift in revenue patterns. There are also regional inflection points like the deregulation of the long distance market in the USA.
This combination of factors like the drop in per-minute prices and the need to rollout voice quickly to capture market share in the long distance market is making carrier VoIP solutions a very attractive solution. It allows the provision of voice services over a data network, allowing carriers to reap the benefits of convergence.
Riverstone Packet Voice Solutions
Riverstone Networks is the market leader in metro edge and aggregation solutions. The combination of Riverstone's hardware-based routing and switching solutions with the best-of-class Packet Voice solutions from leading IP Telephony vendors can provide the end-to-end solution for all types of voice services.
Riverstone is a partner member of the Sonus Networks Open Service Partner Alliance (www.sonusnet.com). Sonus Networks is the market leader in the provisioning of carrier class full-function Class 4/5 softswitch replacement solutions. The Sonus platform is a NEBS-3 compliant VoIP solution that can serve as a dial-up Internet offload solution or as full replacement for local switching architectures as shown in Figure 1.
Riverstone's low-latency metro routers provide the voice switching between the Sonus devices. Traffic is segregated by building separate VLANs for each class of traffic. The non-blocking architecture of the RS 8600 ensures a packet network latency of less than 35 milliseconds. Long-distance toll-bypass traffic can be switched over the Wide Area Network with the addition of WAN interface cards or Packet over SONET/SDH linecards.
AOL/Time Warner Telecom has deployed a combined Sonus/Riverstone packet telephony package, including softswitches and media gateways, in markets throughout the United States.
Time Warner Telecom needed a complete packet telephony solution that would allow the carrier to achieve the highest levels of scalability, performance, and reliability.
Sonus teamed with Riverstone to provide Time Warner Telecom with a robust, NEBS Level 3-certified core network system, comprising Sonus' GSX9000 Open Services Switch, PSX6000 Softswitch, SGX2000 SS7 Signaling Gateway, and the Riverstone RS 8000 series of metro routers. This combination of products enabled Time Warner Telecom to deploy large switch sites rapidly and cost-effectively, each capable of handling more than 100,000 simultaneous telephone calls.
Time Warner Telecom is initially leveraging the network to augment its existing Class 5 circuit switches and offload modem-generated Internet traffic from its voice network. Time Warner Telecom also plans to use the infrastructure to deliver traditional local and long distance services, as well as new Voice over IP-based services such as unified communications, single number service, call centers, and more.
Voice-over-IP solutions today offer a sweet spot for providers looking to get the edge. It applies equally to incumbent voice providers trying to protect market share by offering competitive prices and to emerging providers trying to gain market share with a low price strategy. Enterprises that have realized the cost savings by deploying VoIP for their internal networks are strating extend that paradigm for their external communication. In summary, VoIP is an exploding market where the Rivestone solution provides the converged transport architecture that satisfies the need for a reliable architecture.