September 21, 2007
Cedar Points and WiMAX Make Sense
By Jim Barthold
When Mark Tubinis joined Cedar Point Communications as CTO back in March he recognized that the company’s integrated VoIP switching technologies platform had more potential than just a wireline product.
Since, at its foundation, the Safari voice switching platform was IP-soaked, it made sense to drive it in the direction of a new IP-based networking scheme. Thus, Safari evolved to WiMAX and Cedar Point has started selling it to cable, telco and enterprise customers including an initial deployment with Grupo TVCable in Ecuador.
“When I came to Cedar Point I saw that the product we have is very applicable, especially with these 4G technologies and it was just a very strong fit (for) radio operators … (who) want to add voice as a service,” said Tubinis.
Getting away from the prickly subject of what exactly constitutes 4G, WiMAX is a good play for Cedar Point because it’s built on IP. Both fixed and mobile WiMAX—pick your area of the world when you discuss these differences—can use a voice platform to enhance the data capabilities.
Integrated into the mix
“Even in cases where companies like Sprint and Clearwire have gone out and picked their radio technologies (Nokia Siemens, Samsung and Motorola) ... the solutions they have are typically way too big and too expensive to be able to take care of what will be a small but rapidly growing population of voice services on these networks. We fit nicely along with those guys as part of the solution,” he said.
Cedar Point has been working with cable operators to move voice traffic from IP to TDM networks and can offer those same capabilities to a WiMAX operator “and do it very cost effectively in a way that scales from very small deployments of 2,500 subscribers to a single chassis that can deal with up to 200,000 subscribers,” he said. “We can mix-and-match the different protocols that are being terminated on a system and on the other side we can peer up to another IP network and do IP trunking.”
The technology also lends itself to a fixed-mobile convergence (FMC) play if that’s what the operator wants.
Talking to the core
“We can talk to an IMS core if you want to have these fixed connections talk to mobile phones,” Tubinis said. “As we get more involved with our radio partners, they’re going to look for opportunities where they can have us act as a mobility agent so our device can replace the functionality of the mobile switching center in future 4G networks.”
Cedar Point’s cable experience also comes in handy in one area that’s somewhat unique to WiMAX: dynamic quality of service (QoS) management.
“We have a lot of experience in doing that with the cable business … to assure that your voice quality is good with changing cable plant conditions,” Tubinis said. “WiMAX needs to have the same thing so if there are a lot of people starting to use a voice service at the same time, you have to be careful about how much of the radio spectrum is being used and how much capacity is being associated with those calls to assure that the users have a good, solid quality of service.”