One.Tel and Scarlet Deploy Packet Telephony with Cisco and IBM
LONDON, UK, April. 8, 2002 -- Scarlet, one of Benelux's leading telecommunications organizations that operates under the brand names One.Tel, Scarlet and Netnet, has implemented a new core infrastructure in the Netherlands for the two brands One.Tel and Scarlet, which is based on Cisco Systems Inc.'s next generation PSTN Gateway technology. Scarlet offers indirect access telephony services primarily to residential customers and small businesses. The success of this service has meant tremendous growth of Scarlet's traffic, which has demanded more switching capacity. They chose Cisco technology for an integrated voice and data platform, which can deliver their existing PSTN services and can be used to deliver new packet telephony services. With its open, distributed architecture and Voice-over-IP capabilities, the operator can quickly and flexibly deploy the platform for the purpose of new services, such as wholesale voice services for smaller operators and internet providers. IBM, a member of Cisco's Gold Partner Programme, has been selected for the implementation and support of the platform.
The decision to purchase Cisco Systems' PSTN Gateway (PGW 2200) was initially prompted by the opportunity the platform offers for immediate expansion and growth within Scarlet's current switching service. Furthermore, PGW 2200 offers the opportunity to implement new services quickly and efficiently. Scarlet consciously decided not to invest in existing TDM technology such as Class 4 telephone exchanges, but in a solution with a centralized call control and a distributed architecture.
In short, the new platform allows Scarlet not only to meet the increase in customer demand, but also to connect other carriers. "We have seen a rising demand from Internet providers and other network operators, like those with cable and DSL connections, that want to offer voice services through their IP networks," says Gilbert de Bree, Scarlet CTO. "Thanks to the Voice-over-IP capabilities of the Cisco platform, we can offer competitive services up to the local loop. As an Alternate Service Provider, we can also offer services to smaller operators that will not or cannot invest in such platforms."
The distributed architecture offered by the PGW 2200 presents Scarlet with various technical advantages. For instance, the major components are not location dependent, but can be operational from different distributed locations. Furthermore, the open character allows Scarlet to connect other applications to the platform, such as Maxbill invoicing. The PGW 2200 supports many signaling variants used within the PSTN and supports many different types of network interconnects that are based on SS7, ISDN-PRI and VoIP.
Scarlet's selection of a single open environment for voice and data is of strategic importance to the development of the marketplace. "All major parties in the market are thinking hard about a migration to a single platform that incorporates traditional telecommunication and new VoIP services," says John Baldwin, Service Provider Voice Marketing Manager from Cisco Systems. "This deployment illustrates how a successful Telco embraces the evolution from TDM to Packet Telephony with Cisco, being able to marry existing PSTN services with next generation technology."
IBM as a member of the Cisco Gold Partner Programme in its capacity as a system integrator has been instrumental in the implementation and support of the new platform. Furthermore, "the implementation has passed off smoothly and in good cooperation, almost twice as fast as is typical for Class 5 exchanges", says Gilbert de Bree. "This speed is essential to our branch in which everything revolves around time-to-market."
IBM was also chosen to supply the infrastructure for Scarlet's new invoicing software Maxbill. The infrastructure consists of a series of UNIX and NT servers (pSeries and xSeries). With the help of the NetGen program, which has been developed especially for e-business start-ups. Scarlet has bought the servers using Quick Launch, an attractive financing program for NetGen companies.
Scarlet has confidence in its relationship with Cisco and IBM. "The three companies share the same vision therefore cooperation between us makes sense. We all enjoy a great reputation and deliver a wide variety and large number of high-quality products and services."
About ScarletScarlet is one of Benelux 's leading telecommunications organizations, operating under the brand names One.Tel, Scarlet and Netnet. In this turbulent market the battle has now been intensified between a few major telecommunication companies. The brand Scarlet Telecom enhanced its position in this market by taking over various competitors in only a short time, whereas the originally Australian brand One.Tel made a name for itself and gained a share of the market thanks to a number of much talked-about marketing campaigns. The Scarlet organization sets itself the target to always offer cheaper rates than market leader KPN. This applies to the business as well as the consumer markets. Furthermore, Scarlet is active as an Internet provider. The activities of One.Tel have in August 2001 been integrated into the Scarlet organization. The company Scarlet serves about 1 million customers in the Benelux.
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About NetGen Quick LaunchWith the help of the Quick Launch program, IBM offers starting companies the opportunity to set up their IT infrastructure in only a very short amount of time. For this purpose, IBM offers hardware and software at very attractive financing conditions. In the field of hardware, start-ups can opt from many servers and storage systems that fit their needs. There is a similar wide range of choice in the field of operating systems (AIX, NT, Linux, OS/400) and middleware (DB2, WebSphere, Domino), with IBM selling user licenses at considerable discounts. With regard to financing, with Quick Launch IBM can offer high credit limits, 3 months extension of payment and attractive lease rates.
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