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NoVaVoiper

join:2003-10-21
Arlington, VA

1 edit

[Broadvox Direct] Soft Switch Vendors?

I'm getting a bit over my head in the technical side of VoIP, but does anyone know what switches the various vendors use? I ask because of the many problems with Broadvox and their 3-way calling and star codes. The latter have been blamed on the switch and I want to know if it's any difference than what everyone else is using. How would we find this out?

Cal96

join:2004-11-05
Oceanside, CA
Not sure about the switch, but it looks like Broadvox is using a voicemail package from the Amanda Company. Good guess, huh?

»www.taa.com/portalover.htm

It seems the business side of Broadvox is one of the case studies.

NoVaVoiper

join:2003-10-21
Arlington, VA
That study indicates BVD uses the Sylantro Softswitch.
A little more investigation shows the following features available on the switch:

Anonymous Call Rejection
Caller ID
Caller ID Blocking
Caller Name
Call Waiting
Call Waiting Cancel
Call Forward
Call Forward on RNA
Call Forward Variable
Calling Restrictions
Call Logs
Click-to-Call
Distinctive Ringing
Equal Access
Find Me/Follow Me
Four-Way Calling
Last Call Return
Last Number Redial
Malicious Call Trace
Parallel Ringing
Password Reset
Portal, Browser-Based
Privacy Management
Selected Time Special Routing
Simultaneous Ringing
Advanced Call Routing
Speed Dialing
Voice Mail Notification

Test99
Premium
join:2003-04-24
San Jose, CA
kudos:1
reply to NoVaVoiper
If I remember correctly, Jeff has spoken proudly of the fact that BroadVox Direct uses a real System 7 switch.

But maybe not everywhere. Quoting from this (PDF) page: »www.packetcomm.org/about/IPCC_Au···tter.pdf

Broadvox Deploys Telica & Sylantro for its Hosted VoIP Broadvox will deploy the Telica PLUS Compact Softswitch to enhance its existing VoIP infrastructure. Each PLUS softswitch provides more than 37,600 fully protected voice channels. The PLUS Compact Softswitches will be deployed in Dallas, Los Angeles, and New York and will increase Broadvox's network capacity, as well as provide the SS7 interconnect capability preferred by many large customers. Broadvox is using Sylantro Systems' hosted VoIP communications solution to address the consumer VoIP market and the business IP Centrex market.
--
Welcome to the 21st century. You'll do fine here. Just don't expect anything to work quite the way it is supposed to...

jgwilliams
Premium
join:2003-09-16
Chesterland, OH
reply to NoVaVoiper
Broadvox uses the Sylantro Class 5 switch for, well class 5 call handling.

The Telica platform is a class 4 switch which provides off-net call handling, routing, International transit, etc.

Both switch platforms are used for residential and Enterprise. The Telica or class 4 switch platform is mostly used on the carrier side however as that is the nature of the business. Class 4 switching does not provide enhanced features. A class 5 switch is typically referred to as a feature switch.

Broadvox uses Sylantro for class 5 functionality just as SBC or Verizon would use a 5E for local dial tone.

With regards to voice mail we had deployed the Amanda VM solution however we were not happy with some of the performance and limitation issues. We have deployed on the Enterprise side and will be deploying for residential use the IP Unity platform. The residential deployment has already started with new accounts and will take the place of the current system on existing accounts shortly.

The 3 way calling issue is a problem with firmware upgrades to our border controllers. The manufacture has been on site at our Cleveland switch for a couple weeks, and the issue is being worked.

* codes is actually a CPE problem (The DTA). Some * codes work, and those * codes are controlled by the switch. Other * codes handle call control locally on the CPE (by nature of the way SIP works) and those * codes are having a problem. At this time I do not have an ETA on this issue as I do not work with hardware. The issue is however being addressed. Not that it helps however commercial clients that are using IP phones are communicating over MGCP and are not having these issues.
--
Jeffery Williams
CIO
Broadvox, Llc


roamer1
sticking it out at you

join:2001-03-24
Atlanta, GA
said by jgwilliams:

The Telica platform is a class 4 switch which provides off-net call handling, routing, International transit, etc.
It and most competing products (Tekelec 8000/SanteraOne, Sonus GSX, Nortel Succession, etc.) can do class 5 functions as well (these sort of switches are often called "class 4/5" because they can do both class 4 and class 5 functions) -- but it seems that most "true" VoIP companies have avoided using the "telco" switches for class 5 services in favor of Asterisk-based or various homegrown solutions or commercial vendors with more experience on the IP side like Sylantro and Cisco.

(Most traditional telcos that are using the Plexus/8000/GSX/etc. for class 5 aren't using them for SIP-based services either, but either merely for traditional TDM service -- they're generally much smaller and cheaper to run than the likes of a 5E -- or to talk to NGDLCs via IP using Megaco instead of via TDM using the old SLC-96 type protocols.)

-SC
--
"it seems like all you ever buy is Abercrombie and cell phones" --a friend

No-Bull SE US Wireless Info: »www.sewireless.info/
Atlanta Apt/Condo Cable & Broadband Info: »www.atlaptcable.info/


VoIPAlaska

@rdbck.palmer.mtaonli
reply to NoVaVoiper
Keep it simple: The article below is the best explanation I have seen to explain most of the problems people are
having with VoIP at this time. After beta testing several VoIP providers and reading most of the VoIP
technical message boards I have decided to use VoIP primarily for long distance calling and not
worry about all the features, including voice mail, callback services, and call forwarding until all the
software integrate better. I use and market a simple prepay PC to PSTN provider with no monthly
service fees, free PC to PC calling, Receive calls from any PSTN Phone, Online Account
Management: call log, missed call log,add money on-line securely, NO Automatic Recharging! Only
add money when you want, We don't store credit card information, add money other ways other
than credit cards,. The softphone works good on 56K dial-up with a headset (microphone and
speakers not recommended the person your talking to will hear themselves as an echo) broadband
is needed for Wi-Fi and/or the two phone Broadband Phone Adaptor (BPA)

NEW YORK, Sept. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- The failure of Telecom equipment makers to adhere more
strictly to industry standards for delivering voice over IP (VOIP) technology will cause some service
providers and enterprises to delay their network deployments of VOIP, according to a major new
study released today by Heavy Reading (»www.heavyreading.com), the market research
division of Light Reading Inc.

The report, "Next-Generation Routers: A Comprehensive Product Analysis," analyzes the product
and market strategies of more than two dozen makers of next-gen routers, the network equipment
that is responsible for moving all traffic along the world's packet-based Telecom networks.

The report includes up-to-the-minute, detailed product and feature analyses of 119 different
routers from 26 manufacturers, with dozens of matrices that deliver more than 1,000 data fields
allowing for direct product comparisons -- making it the most comprehensive product guide of its
kind. Included in the report are products from market leaders Cisco Systems (Nasdaq: CSCO),
Juniper Networks (Nasdaq: JNPR), Lucent Technologies (NYSE: LU), and Nortel Networks
(NYSE/Toronto: NT). An in-depth look at Cisco's newly announced CRS-1 router is also included.

VOIP represents the most significant opportunity to expand IP networks, but that potential cannot
be realized without further standardization work, note Paul Shippam and Paul Ridgewell, Heavy
Reading Analysts at Large and co-authors of the report. Specifically, equipment vendors continue
to use proprietary technologies to deliver critical VOIP features, including voice mail, callback
services, and call forwarding.

Until standards for all VOIP services are fully implemented, equipment buyers will not be able to mix
and match products from different vendors to build their networks. Faced with the prospect of a
single-vendor technology source, many Telecom carriers and enterprise users may delay or curtail
VOIP expansion plans until standards are fully in place, Shippam and Ridgewell conclude.

jgwilliams
Premium
join:2003-09-16
Chesterland, OH
reply to roamer1
You are very correct. The Telica switch, primarily a class 4 switch fabric does contain some class 5 functionality. The class 5 functionality however is pretty limited (could be expanded upon using feature servers). The core functionality of the switch is class 4 functionality such as transit, interconnection, SS7 signalling, LCR, etc.

The Sylantro switch is a class 5 switch offering many enhanced features, and scalable. Additionally it can be partitioned. This feature allows for the switch to be broken up (virtually) for many uses that will default certain behaviour - such as inter-client Centrex style dialing.

In both cases these are soft-switched as compared to a 5E or DMS which are hardware based; TDM switches.

I see certain limitations in using open source 'pbx' solutions, mostly around manageability, scalable, and support. In addition to these issues I believe that you will have standards issues as more interconnection takes place, particularly with the PSTN at greater levels - as regulation permits (on the xLEC side).
--
Jeffery Williams
CIO
Broadvox, Llc

NoVaVoiper

join:2003-10-21
Arlington, VA
reply to jgwilliams
jgwilliams -- Thanks for the thorough explanation of the technology behind your offering. I am much more of a consumer than a technical person, but it's good to have at least a basic understanding of the underlying infrastructure.

Can you give us any insight into how the differences, if any, residential users will notice on the IP Unity platform?

jgwilliams
Premium
join:2003-09-16
Chesterland, OH
IP Unity is pretty neat stuff. Sure I can share some of that.

First a basics on the actual functionality. Features aside here is the logic.

You pickup your phone and get dial tone (this comes from the Class 5 switch). When you dial a number the switch quickly makes a decision:

1. If the number you are calling is on-net (A phone number that it controls (another customer) then the switch routes the call itself.

2. If the call is off-net, say you are calling someone on the PSTN, then the switch is not aware of the routing rules of how to get their, so it hands the call off to the Class 4 switch. A class 4 switch has a much larger call routing table and is 'aware' of all the interconnections that a phone company has (All the possible routes to go off-net). That switch can make logical determinations on how to deliver the call.

Inbound calls go directly to the class 5 switch, from our interconnection gateways with the various cLEC's that we obtain numbers from.

As for IP Unity. First of all the connection methods between the two systems:

Amanda; This is a hybrid system. The Amanda VM system connects to the switch indirectly, using a gateway like that we would terminate calls to the PSTN with the Amanda system uses what is called CASS for a connection method.

The result is that the voice mail system is not really connected to the switch at all rather it receives calls from the switch as a transfer, like transferring a call from one extension to another.

One big limitation here is that calls can not be transferred back to the switch (call aware) from the voice mail system. An example of this would be that someone calls you, you are on the phone and do not answer call waiting. The call then goes to voice mail and your greeting is something like:

Hi this is billy bob. I am on the phone right now. You can leave me a message at the tone or press 1 to keep holding for me.

Now with the IP Unity system this would work, with Amanda not a chance.

The IP Unity system does provide SS7 connectivity (tradition PSTN style signalling) as well as IP based connectivity (SIP / H.323).

The result is true bi-directional communication. The ability to transfer calls to voice mail and then the voice mail system can hand calls back to the switch (SIP re-invite) and the switch will be told where the call is supposed to go.

Other nice things is that there will no longer be this extension 400 stuff. You will be prompted, if calling from a number other than your Broadvox line for your 10 digit phone number, then your password.

Some other functionality that you can look for will be the ability to listen to your voice mail in your portal, view received faxes in your portal.

There are some other neat functions as well. For example you can listen to a voice mail message and decide you want to call the person back. The problem is you are in your car and no pen. No problem, there is an option to call the person back. You simply select the option after listening to the message. The system will call the party back at the number they called from. When you are finished talking you can either hangup when the other party does, or stay on the phone. If you stay on the phone you will return to your mailbox at the point that you left. SO, if you were say 4 messages into a 10 message pileup you will be back to the end of the message that you just called. You can then select to delete the message, save it, listen to the next message, etc.

Another feature that I personally like is the ability to have a home ACD greeting.

I have 3 lines in my house. One is a house number, the other is for my daughter, and the last is a home office number for days that I am working from home - like today with 5' of snow . Anyway when you call the main number you can have a greeting that says if you want to ring the main line press 1 for 'daughter' press 2

And perhaps the office line is not announced but it is the secret number 9.

You can of course call the numbers directly. That being said a 3 line home would actually have 4 numbers. One number would access the ACD announcement (dial 1 for this, 2 for that) while the other numbers will ring those lines directly. In all cases each line will have its own voice mail, or you can have voice mail for any number of the lines deposited to one common mailbox - a central place to retrieve all the messages rather than calling each line.

Some other functionality (from the Class 5 switch side) will be the ability to have multiple SIP devices connected to a single line. With this ability you could have a bunch of cordless SIP phones in your house, all communicating with one or more 'phone lines'. Today you need to have a subscription or phone service for each device, down to port level. This advancement will permit many to one with regards to SIP ports. We will be able to control call concurrency as to not permit multiple outbound calls. We will also be able to bridge the SIP devices so that if you are on the phone and someone picks up another SIP handset they will hear the conversation, or even participate in the call (regardless of their location - such as sitting in an airport, and the other line is your wife (or husband) on the phone at home.

I have probably said enough about things to come.
--
Jeffery Williams
CIO
Broadvox, Llc

NoVaVoiper

join:2003-10-21
Arlington, VA
Sounds like exciting stuff! Now that it's out there, you realize we're going to keep bugging you about implementation

Have a Merry Christmas!

jgwilliams
Premium
join:2003-09-16
Chesterland, OH
I don't have dates, I don't work with hardware implementations. I have seen the functionality however, and some staff actually uses it.

As some have noticed I am sure I avoid discussing features and functionality. For one I am not here to advertise, secondly production dates can never be pinpointed (I learned my lesson) as various projects can take priority, things change, things break, etc. All of these issues delay projects that are being worked on. Lastly I am not a support person and would prefer that support and customer care issues be addressed to the appropriate departments, and failure to resolve an issue timely should be addressed to management in that area. In extreme circumstances I have and will intervene however this is typically not by request more my taking note of various conversations and looking into an issue; and taking action on it, without anyone ever knowing.

I will not address questions as to when features will be available, particularly forward looking features such as described here. Even if I knew (and I don't at present time) I would not discuss it. That said please don't ask.

Also realize that while all of these features exist to some degree today, and I believe they will be offered with the residential product (with or without additional cost - no idea there) I can not promise that every feature will be offered with residential accounts, I don't make those decisions.

AND: Merry Christmas / Happy Holidays.
--
Jeffery Williams
CIO
Broadvox, Llc

Cal96

join:2004-11-05
Oceanside, CA
reply to jgwilliams
said by jgwilliams:

The 3 way calling issue is a problem with firmware upgrades to our border controllers. The manufacture has been on site at our Cleveland switch for a couple weeks, and the issue is being worked.
Jeff, any ETA on this issue? I checked last night and the first-called party is still losing audio 10 seconds after being conferenced. I have a ticket open but it hasn't been updated lately.

jgwilliams
Premium
join:2003-09-16
Chesterland, OH
This is something that you would need to take up with support. I am not aware of any status regarding this issue as it is not something my group works with.
--
Jeffery Williams
CIO
Broadvox, Llc

Cal96

join:2004-11-05
Oceanside, CA
I opened a ticket and the support group said they are aware of the problem, other people have reported it, and it is being worked on, but no ETA.

Sorry, I didn't know there was more than one issue with 3 way calling. What did you mean when you referred to "the 3 way calling issue" above, if you don't mind me asking.

Thanks.