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MWC: Metaswitch ‘session router’ prepares SIP signaling for mobile onslaught

Platform will work in today’s wireline VoIP networks but real value may be helping wireless operators do their part in managing billions of IP- and SIP-capable mobile end-points

Metaswitch Networks this week announced a new platform to help carriers more dynamically manage SIP traffic, especially as new IP-based wireless networks start to come on line this year.

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The Metaswitch SIP Session Router sits between standard SIP network nodes such as routers, session border controllers and soft switches and helps to improve general SIP network availability. It also lets operators do more with SIP – including providing different levels of service across a SIP network and negotiating between different SIP implementations.

“As more and more SIP traffic goes across the network, there’s a need for new network elements to help manage and scale the SIP traffic that’s out there,” said Patrick Fitzgerald, vice president of sales and marketing for Metaswitch’s service broker division, established when the vendor acquired AppTrigger about a year ago. “This allows service providers to scale SIP routing in the core of the network.”

Up to now, SIP has been used mainly in wireline VoIP networks where, truthfully, scaling hasn’t been an issue – the typical VoIP deployment today just isn’t that large. That has made the inefficiencies present in today’s SIP architectures – driven mainly by the deployment of static routing tables in individual SIP elements, creating complex mesh network designs – a non-issue.

But that is changing significantly with the emergence of IP-based 4G mobile networks, which potentially introduce billions of IP- and SIP-end points, increasing the need for those flattened IP core and backhaul networks to change the way they manage SIP sessions, said Metaswitch’s Fitzpatrick. Making that challenge even more severe, more real-time mobile services are likely to emerge, including things like instant message and presence, which will further tax SIP networks, he said.

Metaswitch isn’t alone in offering such SIP proxy routing capabilities – competitors with similar boxes include Tekelec and Sonus Networks. Metaswitch is aiming to differentiate its offering via pure throughput – handling up to 39,200 messages per second – and the added flexibility of being able to simultaneously support stateful, call stateful and stateless SIP traffic, Fitzgerald said.

Metaswitch is offering the SIP Session Router as a standalone product and also as part of its broader end-to-end IP network provisioning and service assurance solutions.

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© 2014 Penton Media Inc.

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