SentitO Makes Edge Switching Pitch

8/12/2005 8:00 PM Eastern

SentitO Networks Inc. is launching the 3.0 version of its Open Network Xchange voice-over-Internet protocol gateway/router system, with an eye toward expanding beyond its traditional telco client base into cable.

The privately held company provides about 100 telecom carriers worldwide with intelligent edge IP-switching equipment. While cable operators have centralized VoIP switching in regional data centers, SentitO executives believe they may need edge switching as more subscribers come online and their IP networks grow more complex.

“As they grow their subscriber base, they’ll realize the telecom limitations of soft-switch architectures,” said Jeff Heynen, senior manager of product marketing at SentitO. “They have to backhaul all the signaling and service intelligent to central locations. As they ramp up and scale, it’s tremendously inefficient in bandwidth to maintain backhaul links. They will like to move the soft switch intelligence closer to the subscriber.

“For the MSO, we could provide a GR303 connection to the headend unit, take all traffic from the system and convert it to SIP [Session Initiation Protocol] at the edge, maintaining signaling,” he added. “Then you don’t have to communicate with a centralized soft switch.”

Founded in 2000, SentitO has raised $61 million in four funding rounds since then.

CEO Dennis Chateauneuf said service providers will increasingly look to bundling, and additional services like multimedia applications to stay competitive.

“MSOs are starting to bundle phone with data,” Heynen said. “But they still remain separate applications on the network. With more intelligence, you can start bundling video and voice into a single SIP-based session.” A broadband user might open up Microsoft Outlook, then decide to place a video call, which can be initiated using SIP, according to Heynen.

SentitO’s ONX system includes its iVg media gateway, an SS7 signaling gateway and PreVision network management system. The latter is critical. “MSOs will face a billing challenge,” said Henyen. “They need to find new ways to bill for things like video mail. The SentitO software can make that happen smoothly.”

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