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Improved Outlook for Core Voice Equipment and Softswitch Spending

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February 08, 2013

Improved Outlook for Core Voice Equipment and Softswitch Spending

By Mae Kowalke, TMCnet Contributor

Core voice equipment spending will finally stabilize at roughly $7 billion annually over the next five years, according to a new report by the Dell' (News - Alert)Oro Group, which tracks the networking and telecommunications industries. According to the group, the market has been declining the previous five years.

Softswitches will not be among the winners, however, at least according to the report. It predicts that IP Multimedia Subsystem (News - Alert) (IMS) Core, Voice Application Servers and Session Border Controllers (SBC) growth will offset declines in softswitches and media gateways, which are relatively mature segments.

"What has changed is that service providers are now offering commercial Voice over LTE (News - Alert) systems in Korea and the United States,” noted Chris DePuy, vice president of the Dell'Oro Group, in a news release about the report.

“The underlying IMS architecture enables not just voice, but also messaging, file transfer, and video calls,” added DePuy. “As service providers deploy these services, they will be more effective in competing with Over-the-Top services that consumers purchase directly with their smartphones. We expect to see a significant increase in IMS-based commercial deployments over the next year.”

Not all analysts see sales declines for softswitches, however. TechNavio predicts global softswitch growth of roughly 4 percent annually through 2015, according to its Global Softswitch Market 2011-2015.

Reduced risk of vendor lock-in is the main factor that encourages service providers to opt for softswitches, according to the TechNavio report. Unlike traditional network switches, noted TechNavio at the time, softswitches are independent of hardware components. This reduces the risk of vendor lock-in. Softswitch APIs can function on any given hardware and they use computer servers to carry out the processes.

Companies such as REVE Systems benefit from the move to softswitches. Its iTel Switch Plus leverages proprietary technology to deliver the fastest softswitch in the world and instant VoIP connectivity, according to the company. It can be used in a single server platform or a distributed architecture environment, and its scalable, redundant deployment architecture makes it suitable for large IP carriers who want reliable call termination.

The iTel Switch Plus also is developed for the reseller environment, offering a number of unique features. It offers a multi-layered security access control, callback functionality, an unlimited level of reseller levels, single PIN for all call origination devices, PIN-to-PIN balance transfers, the ability to never let balances go negative, international mobile top-up and PIN to PIN calling.

Its softswitch solution is available as a hosted option or as a standalone product.

So popular is the demand for mobile VoIP and hosted softswitch solutions, TMCnet noted last October, that REVE Systems has expanded sales to 70 different countries. The Singapore-based company has positioned itself as a preferred platforms for VoIP carriers and continues to focus on its core customer base in Asia and the Middle East while extending reach to support those in North America, Latin America and Europe.

Edited by Rich Steeves

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