Monthly Archives: September 2004

MERA Unveils High Capacity Session Controller

September 22, 2004


Fully Distributed Session Controller Architecture Provides Major VoIP Carriers with Greater Flexibility, Resiliency, and Scalability of Networks and Services.

Toronto, ON, Canada – September 20, 2004 – MERA Systems, Inc., a supplier of full-featured, reliable and scalable session controllers for carriers of any size, today announced the availability of its new fully distributed session controller architecture. The new architecture has been purpose-built for large telcos such as Tier 1, major national and international carriers and delivers enhanced scalability, reliability and simplified management of VoIP networks.

Distributed architecture: what’s the difference?
In today’s mature VoIP world, physical separation of the session controller components is becoming a critical factor, ever more so for carriers that sit on the top of the telecom food chain and operate complex networks based on multivendor technologies.

MERA provides a fully distributed session controller solution that delivers this “five-nines” reliability along with other benefits critical for a top-tier service provider. The MERA MVTS session controller consists of several interconnected signaling and media servers. The signaling servers share a single routing table and can therefore efficiently manage VoIP traffic throughout the entire network, irrespective of their physical location.

MERA’s distributed architecture makes a big difference for big carriers:

* Increased capacity, easy scalability and reduced CAPEX: the clustered architecture of MERA’s session controller allows a capacity increase up to 40, 000 concurrent calls. The solution easily scales by adding extra servers, and is significantly cheaper than several single-server session controllers put together for the same capacity.

* Added reliability: Along with regular backup redundancy, MERA’s distributed session controller is “redundant in itself”. Every signaling server is backed up by all the other signaling severs, and the same goes for media servers, which provides a new, unprecedented level of reliability to the carrier’s network with downtime next to none.

* Intelligent traffic routing and QoS enforcement: as all signaling servers in a MERA cluster share a common database on routes and policies, they efficiently distribute calls throughout the entire network irrespective of the geographical location of each server. Furthermore, MERA’s session controller delivers comprehensive, end-to-end signaling capabilities. MERA’s signaling servers perform real-time bandwidth mapping and allocation, and send media flows across channels with better bandwidth, thus providing for greater service availability and customer-centric QoS policies.

* Simplified configuration and management: The MERA Session Controller makes Tier 1 networks easily manageable despite their size and complexity. All components in a MERA cluster share a single set of configuration files, with all updates automatically synchronized between the servers. It means carriers only need to configure the system once, while a collection of separate boxes would require configuring each one independently, with inevitable delays in service rollout and the need for extra resources to administrate geographically dispersed network elements. In fact, MERA’s configuration is so easy that it can be performed by the carrier’s staff, unlike many other solutions that require on-site presence of the vendor to configure the system.

Customer Deployment
Infotel Communication S.p.A., an Italy-based VoIP carrier, has deployed the MERA MVTS session controller with distributed architecture in its nationwide VoIP network for delivery of real-time voice services in Italy and abroad. MERA’s cluster at Infotel Communication is composed of the MVTS signaling server and two media servers deployed in Milan, and handles VoIP traffic from 12 POPs in Italy and Europe, over 20 Tier 1 and Tier 2 international carriers, and a network of resellers and phone shops. All signaling flows are concentrated by the MVTS signaling server, which distributes calls between the media servers. With this architecture, media information does not have to follow the signaling flows, thus offloading the signaling server for higher traffic throughput.

“MERA’s distributed session controller is a highly efficient tool for providing high-quality termination, origination and wholesale services to our customers throughout the country”, says Luigi Ghirardi, Technical Director at Infotel Communication.” The convenient architecture of MERA enables us to keep our network simple and easily manageable, ensuring fast and easy rollout of new services. With MERA’s solution we can grow our network in no time: adding an extra server to the current configuration will take less than five minutes, increasing capacity by 1,500 concurrent calls. Along with its feature-rich functionality and ready scalability, MERA’s MVTS has saved us a lot of money: for instance, deployment of back-to-back gateways would have cost us from 100% to 200% depending on the functionalities needed, and the management overhead would mean a further increase of approximately 30% per year. Furthermore, a distributed and “clustered” solution is even more cost-effective – it’s the economy of scale that is at work here. The bigger your capacity, the more you gain, which is not always the case with multiple single-box units.”

Pronexus and Vail offer “A SIP of Speech”

September 15, 2004


Pronexus and Vail Systems now offering developers ‘A SIP of Speech’.

New York, September 14, 2004 — Pronexus Inc. and Vail Systems, two Microsoft Speech Server partners and leading providers of telephony and speech solutions, today announced the availability of ‘A SIP of Speech’, a unique software bundle aimed at developers exploring the growing opportunities for speech applications.

The combination of Pronexus VBSALT and the Vail SIP TIM on the Microsoft Speech Server platform lets developers rapidly create and test speech applications from a single workstation or a workstation/server combination, all without requiring any telephony hardware investment. In combination with one or two softphones, this effectively creates an end-to-end environment for speech application development and testing. ‘A SIP of speech’ allows developers to leverage existing programming skills and seamlessly connect to SIP-based IP telephony networks while evaluating the potential for speech in their respective organizations.

“We are pleased to offer developers ‘A SIP of speech’,” commented Gary T. Hannah, President and CEO of Pronexus Inc. “This bundle makes it easy for developers to experience the power of speech in their next-generation SIP-based IP telephony networks.”

”Vail is excited to partner with Pronexus to offer an end-to-end application development and testing environment for Microsoft Speech Server customers,”said James Whiteley, President and CEO of Vail Systems. “The Vail SIP TIM Developer Edition and VBSALT evaluation bundle, combined with a SIP softphone, allows for rapid application development and testing all from a single developer seat.”

Pricing and Availability
‘A SIP of Speech’ is now available for download from the web sites of Pronexus and Vail Systems Inc. For additional information on pricing and both companies’ range of tools, solutions and services for the Microsoft Speech Server, visit or

CompTel/ASCENT, IPCC Enter Coop. Agreement

September 15, 2004


CompTel/ASCENT, IPCC Enter into Cooperative Agreement MOU Focuses on VoIP Industry Collaboration, Trade Shows.

FREMONT, CALIF. and WASHINGTON, D.C. – CompTel/ASCENT and the International Packet Communications Consortium (IPCC) today announced that they have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) under which the two organizations will work together to accelerate the adoption of voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) and packet communications technologies and services.

“Packet technology is changing the way the world communicates and VoIP is becoming an ever-more important vehicle for entry in the competitive telecom market,” said CompTel/ASCENT CEO H. Russell Frisby, Jr. “We are proud to be working with the IPCC not only to give our members opportunities to learn about the technology and how it can be used to deliver quality, innovative services to consumers and businesses alike, but also to be active participants in defining this evolutionary change.”

“This MOU between CompTel/ASCENT and the IPCC signifies a whole new level of strategic cooperation between industry leaders in the development of VoIP solutions for service providers,” said Michael Khalilian, Chairman and President of the IPCC. “IPCC members including leading service providers, systems integrators, and vendors are very excited about the prospect of working together with the largest competitive service provider organization in North America to further our mutual goal of accelerating the deployment of VoIP in the industry.”

The MOU will enable CompTel/ASCENT and the IPCC to pursue the development of a Joint Advisory Group to foster the development of guidelines and solutions aimed at increasing the deployment of VoIP and packet-based networks and services that would benefit the industry as a whole.

Under the agreement, the IPCC will also provide content development and speakers for panel discussions at CompTel/ASCENT Spring and Fall conventions and other VoIP educational conferences the association may host. The two organizations will cross-promote trade show and educational conferences and co-sponsor networking events for their respective membership.

Moreover, members of either IPCC or CompTel/ASCENT will be eligible for first-year membership discounts in the other organization.