Mighty Morphing of the Network Border Element, Part I

Jim Machi : Industry Insight
Jim Machi

Mighty Morphing of the Network Border Element, Part I

Network Border Elements connect two types of networks to each other, sitting at the edge, or border, of each network.  Looking at the data below from Infonetics, you can see a trend developing from back in 2007, which we will explore in more detail in next week’s blog. 

The wireline service provider border element of choice back in 2007 was a gateway.  Gateways are required to connect IP networks to TDM networks and deal with the media and signaling conversion between the two networks.   When voice interconnects between IP and TDM networks, then we need a VoIP gateway to handle all the transcoding and signaling conversion.  When video interconnects between these two networks, then we need a video gateway.

You can also see the SBC’s starting to come into the picture, as IP-IP network interoperability started to come into play.  Since we don’t have a single gigantic homogeneous IP network, we need border elements on the edges of these IP networks to translate one type of IP signaling to another (for instance, SIP-I to SIP-T), and handle the media transfer, and also to handle the security so the networks can effectively be insulated from each other.   

Together, these two types of edge equipment created a service provider border element market well in excess of $1Billion back in 2007, where it declined and is expected to climb well over $1B again in the future.  (Note: If you want to get the full report with the actual figures, please visit the Infonetics website.)


Graph derived from Infonetics data, November 2011

Next week we will explore this graph in more detail.

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