Fujitsu have announced a new product which will see the increasing transition of the PSTN network into Voice over IP. The GeoStream Integrated Voice and Data ADSL Line Card (IV-LCSS) allows telephone companies such as BT to connect the local loop of a telephone line into one device which integrates many functions currently available on separate cards. It includes a splitter which separates the analogue voice signal from the DSL signal, a VoIP module that converts the analogue signal into data and an ADSL line card with a single uplink into the core network to carry both voice and data traffic.
This is the latest development in Fujitsu's roadmap trying to integrate as many functions as possible into a single module thus reducing the costs and saving space in exchanges. The solution means that users of traditional phone services will be able to maintain their existing service without changes or even being aware their call is being routed over an IP network but it allows the network operators to make cost savings, some of which can then be passed to customers in lower cost calls. The single card can replace as many as three current older generation cards.
The IV-LCSS allows for quality of service controls to be in place to prioritise voice packets, thus ensuring that voice calls should not suffer from delays as a result of large volumes of data. Also, once an exchange has been upgraded to use this type of technology, no engineer visits are required to enable ADSL services on a telephone line, so 'broadband-in-a-box' solutions bought on Christmas Eve in a few years may actually work the next day. And those with TPON lines will be pleased to hear the technology can also work with lines delivered over fibre.
BT will no doubt face a new wave of regulatory issues as other operators may find platform allows them to integrate easier into BT's network at an earlier level or companies involved in local loop unbundling could find it easier to attract more voice customers. This is of course only an intermediate solution that will last for the next ten years until end users switch on to IP telephony where calls are carried over IP from the beginning. It does however provide a seamless migration mechanism.
This comes a couple of days before Kingston Communications announced plans to implement a similar platform using Marconi's technology.
More information can be found here. [seb]
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