Telica Inc. has added support for IP and ATM voice calls to its flagship Plexus 9000 softswitch, giving service providers the ability to use packet networks to carry traditional telephone calls.
These capabilities come in the form of two new server cards for the 21-slot Plexus 9000 chassis, one for ATM and one for IP.
The cards enable carriers to pick up calls that originate on the traditional telephone network and translate them for transport across ATM or IP networks. It also acts as a gateway between traditional Signaling System 7 phone signaling and SIP or BICC signaling for IP and ATM networks, respectively.
This could enable a service provider with a traditional phone network to start migrating to either an ATM or IP backbone. The single backbone would reduce network costs and, potentially, mean lower prices for services.
The Plexus 9000 combines the functions of a softswitch, which performs the actual switching of calls, with a signaling gateway and a media gateway that connects TDM, ATM and IP devices.
The switch already supported traditional TDM voice calls and a handful of call features. It now supports 39 call features, such as call forwarding, caller ID, call waiting and call blocking that are traditionally supplied by a more expensive Class 5 telephone switch. It still lacks some popular Class 5 features, such as three-way conferencing.
Telica prices the switch at US$90 per 64K-bit/sec port, which includes TDM, IP and ATM support. Before adding support for IP and ATM, the switch cost $50 per 64K-bit/sec port, according to Ali Kafel, vice president of marketing for Telica.