Cedar Point Launches IMS Extension To Phone Platform

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Cedar Point Communications is extending its Safari C3 voice-over-IP system to support PacketCable 2.0 and IP Multimedia Subsystem architectures, which promises to let cable operators more easily deploy multiplatform communications services like caller ID on TV.

"We've seen our customers build specialized integrated services that are vertically integrated -- they're complex and costly to build," Cedar Point chief architect Paul Miller said. With IMS, "initially you have the typical high cost of deploying a new network infrastructure, but as you go forward you have a common layer that you can use to launch new applications."

CableLabs' PacketCable 2.0 core service architecture is based on the IP Multimedia System (IMS), an architectural framework for delivering real-time IP-based communications services designed by the wireless standards body 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP).

Cedar Point's new SafariFusion Application Platform includes two initial applications: the Residential Communication Application (RCA) for residential services and the Registration and Routing Application (RRA) to simplify network registration, routing and service roaming. The system will allow Safari C3 voice-switch customers to migrate to PacketCable 2.0/IMS architectures while supporting existing Network-based Call Signaling (NCS) and Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) endpoints.

"Nothing gets stranded. Everything gets reused in this PacketCable 2.0 architecture," said Jeff Walker, Cedar Point's vice president of marketing.

The RCA supports the features within the PacketCable 2.0 residential SIP telephony specification, including call forwarding, call waiting and others. The RRA has been designed to combine the functionality of multiple IMS elements, including the Interrogating Call Session Control Function (I-CSCF); the Serving Call System Control Function; the Home Subscriber Server (HSS); and the Breakout Gateway Control Function.

According to Miller, Cedar Point's highly integrated IMS implementation can run entirely on a single server (although a second is recommended for redundancy). As a result, he claimed, the system's total cost of ownership over five years is one-fourth the cost of competitors' solutions.

"It reduces the cost of powering and cooling and the cost of integration when you need to make a software upgrade," Walker said. "Rather than taking a month to upgrade software, we can upgrade in a few hours."

Cedar Point expects to release SafariFusion at the end of the first quarter. The vendor has tested the SafariFusion code, based on Red Hat Linux, for interoperability with five other vendors' IMS cores at CableLabs' facility in Louisville, Colo. "Some of the tier-one operators are interested in having an Ericsson or Huawei [IMS] core, while others are really attracted by a solution that's highly integrated," Miller said.

Cedar Point will be demonstrating the IMS products next week at SCTE's Cable-Tec Expo in Denver Oct. 28-30.

The Derry, N.H.-based company has sold 5.5 million VoIP licenses for the Safari C3 to 42 customers, which include Comcast, Insight Communications, Charter Communications and Buckeye CableSystem.

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