Vendor Network Architectures�Part XLIX: Quintum Technologies

Quintum Technologies, Inc., headquartered in Eatontown, New Jersey, is a privately held company that is only eight years old, but one that has already been picked by Forbes for its “Top Ten to Watch in 2005” list, and ranked number 205 on the INC. list of fastest growing companies. Quintum develops and markets their Tenor VoIP Multipath switches and gateways to both the enterprise and service provider markets. These systems have been compatibility-tested with the products of a number of the largest PBX vendors, including Avaya and 3Com. Quintum markets its switching products through a network of over 200 resellers and distributors in over 50 countries around the globe.

Quintum markets two models of its Tenor switch that are targeted for small enterprises and remote locations. The Tenor AF switch is designed as a solution for the Small Office/Home Office (SOHO) and medium branch office market, and available with 2, 4, 6, or 8 analog line and trunk interface configurations. It will support up to eight simultaneous VoIP calls, with a maximum of 1,800 calls per hour. The VoIP specifications include support for a number of codecs, including G.711, G.723 and G.729a, support for H.323 v.3 Gateway and Integrated Gatekeeper, plus SIP support, including the SIP User Agent, In-band Signaling, Supplementary Services, and Refer Method. The Tenor AX switch is targeted at small to medium enterprise locations, and available with 8, 16, 24 or 48 line and trunk interfaces. This larger unit supports up to 48 simultaneous VoIP calls, with a maximum of 1,800 calls per hour.

These switching solutions work with traditional PBXs, legacy analog equipment, IP PBXs and IP telephones, Interactive Voice Response (IVR) and Automatic Call Director (ACD) systems, RADIUS servers, and other components of end-to-end H.323 and SIP-based communications networks. Typical applications include interoffice trunking, integration of IP PBXs with legacy infrastructure systems, service provider VoIP trunking, call centers, and VoIP termination.

Both models include several key features:

  • MultiPath architecture: that facilitates the integration with existing voice and data systems, meaning that little or no re-programming of the PBX, or requirements for special dialing plans.
  • Transparent MultiPath Call Routing: that intelligently routes calls between the PBX, Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) and the IP Network, to achieve the best combination of cost and quality. The Tenor switch can also route calls over and IP network to reduce costs, and then transparently hop off to the PSTN to reach off-net locations.
  • SelectNet Technology: monitors the Quality of Service (QoS) of calls, and transparently re-routes active calls to the PSTN in real time if the voice quality is in jeopardy.
  • PacketSaver Technology: combines voice information from multiple calls into a single packet to reduce bandwidth consumption.
  • Universal Dial Plan: provides a programmable dial plan so that the Tenor switch can be integrated into any network environment.
  • NATAccess: allows the Tenor switch to operate behind NAT firewalls to translate internal IP addresses into public addresses when a VoIP call is established with an outside party.
  • Remote Management: enables the management of up to 100 Tenor switches simultaneously using the Remote Management Session application server.

    Reliable remote office connectivity is also a strong suit for the Quintum line, with communications survivability that is included with the Tenor S (S for Survivable) option, which is available for both the AF and AX models. For example, if the branch office is connected to a centralized IP PBX or a Centrex switch, that remote system is vulnerable to network problems between the two locations. If a connectivity problem were to arise, the voice service at the remote office would likely suffer. The Tenor switching platform safeguards the availability of that voice service by embedding a Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) proxy agent in the remote office switch. This proxy agent provides sufficient routing intelligence to provide users with dial tone and basic voice communications functions even if the connection to the central or hosted IP PBX is lost.

    Further details on the Quintum architecture and products can be found at Our next tutorial will continue our examination of vendors’ architectures.

    Copyright Acknowledgement: © 2006 DigiNet ® Corporation, All Rights Reserved

    Author’s Biography
    Mark A. Miller, P.E. is President of DigiNet ® Corporation, a Denver-based consulting engineering firm. He is the author of many books on networking technologies, including Voice over IP Technologies, and Internet Technologies Handbook, both published by John Wiley & Sons.

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