Time Warner Cable launches VoIP service
Time Warner Cable officially launched its voice-over-IP service today in Portland, Maine, becoming the first major cable operator to provide the service on a commercial basis. Cisco Systems, which in April won certification for its softswitch under the PacketCable Call Management Server qualification, is providing the infrastructure equipment for the deployment.
Marketed as Digital Phone, the service is being sold as a primary line replacement and was built on top of the cable operator’s existing IP infrastructure used to provide high-speed Internet access. The system has actually been up and running since February, but Time Warner officials decided to wait until now to market the service in order to iron out any technical kinks, said Mark Bakies, director of marketing for voice technology at Cisco.
“They’re actually replacing the [existing] cable modem with another cable modem [that has] two RJ 11 jacks,” Bakies said. “This is not only a customer win for us. It’s a production network.”
Cisco is providing what it’s calling BLISS (Broadband Local Integrated Services Solution), which includes the BTS 10200 softswitch, a uBR7246VXR cable modem termination system and an MGX 8850 voice gateway. In the initial deployments, the vendor has specified its system to handle up to 200,000 users and 200 simultaneous call attempts per second. As cable operators want to scale up their voice service, the softswitches can be deployed like Class 4 tandems, providing capacity for millions of users.
In the Time Warner deployment, Cisco is providing all the requirements for lifeline service including call signaling, dynamic quality over service, 911 support and CALEA support through adjunct servers. Though Time Warner has not announced any additional services, the infrastructure can support applications such as video telephony and multiplayer online gaming.
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