BUCHAREST, Romania - August 08, 2003 -- Connex, Romania's leading mobile phone company, is the first operator in the country to build an IP-based Signalling System 7 (SS7) network using Cisco technology. The Cisco IP Transfer Point (ITP) will be used to transport all of Connex's SS7 traffic including the ISDN User Part (ISUP), Transaction Capabilities Application Part (TCAP) and Short Message Service (SMS) traffic. In addition, the Cisco Signalling Gateway Manager (SGM) will be deployed to provide highly efficient monitoring and management of this new SS7 network.
Connex controls more than half of the Romanian mobile phone market, with over 2.7 million customers, at the end of June 2003. Connex anticipates that the deployment of the Cisco ITP SS7 over IP network will improve operational efficiencies. The Cisco ITP uses the latest carrier-class technology to combine traditional functionalities of a Signalling Transfer Point (STP) network, with high port density, and seamless transport of SS7 signalling over an IP network. Signalling over IP using the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) Signalling Transport (Sigtran) protocols reduce the cost of network operations while maintaining network availability.
Vishant Vora, CTO and Vice President for Networks and Systems for Connex said: "We wanted to add capacity to our Signalling network and Cisco's proposal to implement SS7 transport over IP was the most cost effective and future-proof solution available. The IETF-Sigtran workgroup provided the industry with a reliable IP alternative to SS7-over-TDM networks. Cisco's ITP implementation of the Sigtran Signalling Connection and Control Protocol (SCTP) transport layer, and related adaptation protocols, provide equal or higher reliability, lower costs and greater flexibility. By combining the open standards Sigtran protocol architecture with Cisco's 7513 router platform, Cisco has been able to deliver a world class STP. Cisco's technical support, STP and an easy to use network management solution were also a winning combination."
Connex's SS7overIP network is comprised of three ITP mated pairs to ensure redundancy. Cisco's Gold Certified partner, Italtel, is providing professional services as part of the deal: Valerio Minero, Executive Vice President for Italtel Professional Services, said," "Italtel particularly adds value where mission critical processes - such as solution design, integration, deployment and management - have to be effectively and securely put in place. The current solution can be the basis for the development of innovative services to increase Connex's competitive edge"
Massimo Migliuolo, Vice President, Worldwide Mobile Operations, Cisco Systems, said: "Connex's SS7 network will not only deliver immediate benefits in terms of network efficiency and reliability, but also represents a scalable signalling network on which to launch future value-added services such as MMS, interactive messaging, gaming, and personalization. The ITP was created specifically for STP and Signaling Gateway functionality in a packet environment. The fact that Cisco technology underpins the signalling infrastructure is proof once again that Cisco is not just an Internet company - we are in a position to offer real benefit to the mobile, wireless & service provider markets."