Nortel Rolls Out Easy Rural Carrier Upgrade to VoIP

A new solution from Nortel Networks is apparently making it easier for rural carriers to deploy VoIP. Nortel’s SIP-enabled DMS-10 600 series is an easy upgrade to the DMS-10 which Nortel claims is the industry’s most broadly deployed rural voice switch.

The DMS-10 is a carrier-class central-office switching platform targeted at small to medium applications, with support for up to 20,000 lines. According to Rob Scheible, senior marketing manager for carrier VoIP and multimedia at Nortel, the DMS-10 is the most widely deployed rural voice switch in the world, with over 3,000 units currently in service. Nortel has now added SIP-based VoIP capabilities with the new upgrade to the DMS-10. Volume shipments of the upgrade are expected to begin in October, though Scheible noted that more than 75 carriers, accounting for 200 switches, had already signed up for the upgrade.

Scheible explained that the DMS-10 600 upgrade will integrate with the same billing and management tools as its predecessor, and will allow carriers to configure new lines in the same manner as they would any other line. The upgrade also provides a web portal capability for end user consumers allowing them to manage call and voice features through a web browser interface.

“The big advantage is that people can get residential VoIP service from their local carrier with a local telephone number,” Scheible told “There are national companies selling VoIP but they don’t always have local numbers for rural communities.”

VoIP service is also particularly advantageous to rural carriers as an easy way to add lines.

“One of the problems in a rural community is that if you want to add additional lines, a lot of times you’ll have to rewire,” Scheible explained. “There isn’t sufficient wire out there to carry three or four lines to a residence.”

According to Nortel’s own market research, rural carriers want to have and deploy next generation telecom services just a much as urban-based carriers.

“Rural telcos don’t consider themselves to be second rate or behind the times at all,” Scheible commented. “They are very interested in getting the latest services.”

VoIP of course requires broadband service, though that service doesn’t necessarily have to come from the rural carrier. The DMS-10 600 can be configured to work over any broadband connection according to Scheible. On the other side of the equation, Sheible added that the new offering could also potentially allow a rural carrier to become a national VoIP provider, though he didn’t have any specific examples to cite.

In future upgrades, Nortel is looking at adding the IMS (IP multimedia subsystem)architecture, which is the integration of wireless and wireline infrastructure into the DMS-10, as well. Scheible said that next year Nortel will be adding SIP trunking, which will allow the DMS-10 to interconnect to other VoIP networks directly and also reduce the cost in many cases for the telco to deliver long distance calls.

Scheible expects that the new DMS-10 release will put Nortel’s competitors at a disadvantage. “Because the DMS-10 is the predominant switch out there and this is just an upgrade to that switch, they (competitors) would be hard pressed to not be more expensive,” Scheible said. “They’re really going to struggle to figure out how to compete against this.”

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