VocalTec Jumps On Broadband VoIP Juggernaut; Expands Essentra Suite

Greg Galitzine : Greg Galitzine's VoIP Authority Blog
Greg Galitzine

VocalTec Jumps On Broadband VoIP Juggernaut; Expands Essentra Suite

I just got back from a week away (I spent a quiet week on the coast of southern Maine with my family) to find my Inbox overflowing with messages. A couple of meetings here, a status update there, and it was well in to the afternoon before I had a chance to look around and see what news had transpired back here in civilization while I was teaching my 2-year-old twins that as scary as the ocean is, it’s not such a horrible idea to splash in the surf.

Apparently, while I was away, VoIP fixture VocalTec announced that they were expanding their Essentra product suite and decoupling the various parts of their softswitch in order to allow systems integrators and resellers the opportunity to mix and match VocalTec elements with third-party products in order to enable best of breed solutions. The announcement also establishes VocalTec as a player in the voice over broadband market that is currently as hot as any technology opportunity out there.

The Essentra BAX is a SIP-based softswitch platform providing subscriber calling features and Web-based management over broadband access networks. The BAX is designed to offer service providers a cost-effective entry into the world of broadband VoIP services. End users connect to the service through a SIP-based IAD or SIP Phone, which hooks into their broadband modem. Essentra BAX supports traditional subscriber calling features, such as call waiting, call forward, etc., as well as a wide range of innovative features, including conferencing and do-not-disturb. A Web-based self-provisioning interface allows end-users to manage their subscription services by defining exactly which services they require and how they wish them to operate.

“The Essentra BAX product is a key addition to our current Essentra offering,” said Moti Suess, chief operating officer at VocalTec. “With the company's strong heritage in the consumer VoIP market, the residential/small business access market represents an excellent opportunity for VocalTec in a market segment that we were the first to address in 1995 with VocalTec's Internet Phone product. The Essentra BAX enables service providers to realize the true vision of NGN in which the entire voice route is implemented over an IP network.”

The new suite of products further comprises the following elements:
Essentra CX: A Core Control Softswitch, Essentra CX is a flexible multi-protocol softswitch, featuring intelligent routing, control of third-party gateways and seamless migration of H.323 networks to NGN.
Essentra EX: A Peering Manager, Essentra EX is an edge network device enabling interconnection and peering of VoIP networks, dynamic call routing, vendor and protocol interworking, accounting and topology hiding. Can be used as a session border control element when used in conjunction with Vocaltec partner Acme Packet.
Essentra VSX: A SS7-Enabled SIP or H.323 Voice Gateway. Essentra VSX is a multi-purpose VoIP gateway, providing SS7 signaling and standards-based integration with any SIP-based application server, softswitch or H.323 gatekeeper.
Essentra OSS: An Operational Support Server. Essentra OSS is a centralized, Wweb-based system, enabling remote element management, service configuration, monitoring and provisioning for Essentra products.
Essentra TMS: Traffic Management System. Essentra TMS is a Web-based service assurance and traffic management system, supporting real-time network performance and QoS monitoring for optimized network operations.
Essentra NRS: A Network Routing Server. Essentra NRS is a centralized routing server enhancing network performance, scalability and manageability for large and distributed networks.
Essentra RX: A GSM SCCP Roaming Gateway Solution. Essentra RX is a specialized product set enabling reliable transport of SCCP messages over IP to support roaming and SMS services between GSM networks.
Essentra SG: An SS7 Signaling Gateway. Essentra SG is a scalable, standards-based SS7 signaling gateway, supporting protocol interworking for over 60 SS7 country variants.

According to Joe McGarvey, senior analyst at market research firm Current Analysis, “The expanded Essentra suite positions VocalTec to capitalize on new, high-growth market opportunities such as voice-over-broadband access and VoIP network peering and control. This expansion allows VocalTec to grow beyond its strength in the Class 4 international and national long-distance and wholesale VoIP market and approach a larger segment of small and medium-sized carriers with its broadband voice offering.”

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