The global market for broadband access is continuously growing. Independent market researchers claim that by 2007 there will be approximately 250 million broadband lines worldwide. Broadband access, which is offered over DSL or cable infrastructure, is enabling a large number of Voice over Broadband (VoB) services, some of which are offered by providers who are new to the field of telecom. Internet Services Providers (ISP) are becoming Internet Telephony Service Providers (ITSP) by bundling voice services with their data services, and are targeting residential and Small Office/Home Office (SOHO) customers. Independent market reports project that from 20 million VoB lines in 2005, we will see over 90 million VoB lines in 2008.
A typical VoB network includes the following elements:
o Telephone Adapters for connecting residential and SOHO users
o Softswitch and Application Server for call control, signaling, and network services
o Media Server for playing tones and announcements as well for enhanced services such as conferencing
o Trunking gateways for interconnecting to the Public Telephone Switched Network (PSTN)
o Session Border Controllers (SBC) for interconnecting to other VoIP networks
AudioCodes’ wide range of Media Gateways and Media Servers is best suited for deploying a powerful, reliable and scalable VoB network. With a comprehensive product line, over a decade of experience, and a massive installation base, AudioCodes is the ideal vendor for the gateway and media server needs of any service provider deploying a VoB network. At the heart of the VoB network is the AudioCodes’ MediaPackTM MP-20x Telephone Adapters.
MP-20x Telephone Adapters
A member of the MediaPackTM series of analog VoIP gateways, the MP-20x series of Telephone Adapters is a cost-effective, cutting edge product, which allows connecting ordinary analog telephones or fax machines to the core of a VoB network. The MP-20x series typically connects to an existing Broadband Internet device (cable or DSL modem), and establishes a communications path with the Service Provider network via its IP Uplink connection. The following figure outlines 2 typical configurations at the residence and SOHO premises.
The MP-20x series provides up to 2 VoIP ports for connecting up to 2 POTS lines or fax machines. Supporting a rich set of subscriber calling features such as caller ID, Call Forward, and Call Waiting, the MP-20x series maintains a uniform user experience when migrating to VoIP services. In addition, the MP-20x Series serves as a router, supporting connectivity of a PC or LAN hub/switch, and including NAT (Network Address Translation), DHCP, and PPPoE functions required for simultaneous telephone and Internet usage.
Utilizing AudioCodes’ VoIPerfectTM core architecture, and benefiting from its experience in providing IP telephony solutions, the MP-20x series combines superior voice quality and state of the art features for end users, such as T.38 Fax Relay and G.168-2004 compliant Echo Cancellation. Low Bit-Rate (LBR) vocoders (voice coders) can be used simultaneously on both telephony ports to save valuable bandwidth. The “Voice over Data” prioritization algorithm prevents degradation in voice quality even during large data transfers.
Advantages of deploying a Telephone Adapter
The MP-20x allows the Residential user to experience the same phone service as previously. The user can keep his POTS phone which eliminates the need to learn new information about the interface and usability of an IP-phone, allowing continuous use of the phone service by applying the standard dial pad and flash hook. Residential users who have a cordless phone can continue using them transparently around the house. An additional advantage is that a fax machine with a separate number allocation can be connected.
Due to the support of an internal router and firewall, the MP-20x can be deployed in a configuration which connects the residential users’ home PC on the downstream side of the Telephone Adapter further simplifying installation and configuration. This reduces “support calls” to the service provider and enables the residential user to have a smoother migration to VoIP.
Leveraging on the MP-20x routing capabilities, Voice Quality is assured thanks to prioritization of voice packets over data bursts, further enhancing the “VoIP Experience”.
A future version of the MP-20x will support a combination of 1 FXS and 1 FXO interfaces. This allows for fallback to PSTN in cases of degraded network quality, permits incoming calls from the PSTN to the same phone and enables the routing of 911 calls via the PSTN to regular PSAP.
Softswitch / Application Server
The MP-20x Series is designed for full interoperability with leading Softswitches and SIP Application Servers for deployment in various network environments. Over the years, AudioCodes has invested significant effort in complying with leading and evolving VoIP standards. Support of the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP), which is commonly found in Voice over Broadband (VoB) networks, assures seamless integration and rapid deployment.
Media Servers provide enhanced voice services such as network tone and announcements, conferencing and Interactive Voice Response (IVR) capabilities, and messaging. Interoperable with leading Softswitches and Applications Servers, the IPmediaTM Media Servers are controlled to provide a fluent network operation.
Media Gateways provide a scalable means for interconnection with the PSTN consisting of a broad range of interface signaling (CAS, ISDN, IUA, SS7, M2UA, M3UA). Controlled usage of MGCP, Megaco/H.248 and SIP which are interoperable with leading Softswitches, the MediantTM Media Gateways enable VoB operators to provide their customers calling capabilities to and from other PSTN networks.
Session Border Controllers (SBC)
Session Border Controllers (SBC) enable VoB networks to peer with other VoIP networks including clearing houses which facilitate cheaper interconnection and reduce long distance calling charges.