Nuera Updates IP Gateway

Nuera Communications Inc. — which is supplying voice-over-Internet protocol trunking and access gateways to Comcast Corp. — will introduce a new line of gateways that more than triple the capacity of the company's prior generation.

The Orca RDT-8G, produced for the U.S. market, and the RDT-8V, for international providers, are Nuera's second-generation broadband access gateway products. Both deliver class-five switching capabilities over a PacketCable infrastructure, said director of product marketing Joe Matibag.

Nuera's gateway features seven chassis in one equipment rack — an increase from the first version of the product, which had two chassis per rack. Each chassis can handle about 4,000 IP-telephony subscribers, Matibag said.

The unit's list price is $125,000, or 35 percent to 40 percent below the cost of Nuera's first Orca line gateway, he said.

Comcast has installed the RDT-8G in Detroit, where the MSO is conducting a trial that layers IP telephony over a circuit-switched plant, Matibag said. Nuera took over for TollBridge Technologies Inc., which had originally deployed its gateway product in Detroit, he said.

The MSO also will use the RDT-8G trunking gateway in its IP-telephony rollout in Philadelphia next year, according to Matibag.

Access or Trunking

Cable operators and long-distance telephone providers — the primary market for Nuera's technology — can use the RDT-8G or RDT-8V as either an access or trunking gateway. Both use the same hardware platform, Matibag said.

It's the Nuera software that's used on top of the platform that defines whether it's an access or trunking gateway, he said.

For instance, a cable operator might built an access network to the edge of a system, then convert that plant to a trunking gateway if the MSO buys a neighboring cable system. The switch from access to trunking consists of no more than a software change, Matibag said.

The Orca gateway "takes advantage of the class-five switch for call control," he said. It's interoperable with switches from Lucent Technologies Inc., Nortel Networks Inc., Alcatel, NEC Corp. and Nokia Corp., among others, as well customer-premise access equipment from Tellabs Inc., Motorola Inc. and Arris Group Inc.

The fact that the product reduces costs while increasing capacity should be welcome news for operators. "That comes from having the power of platform for other applications," said Matibag, referring to Nuera's international long-distance business.

The RDT-8G also provides advanced voice-processing capabilities and high system availability for primary and secondary line service.

"If we're going to help MSOs compete with [regional Bell operating company] Verizon [Communications Inc.], quality is going to count," Matibag said. "You need to have the technology in place to make the conversion from circuit to packet and packet to circuit.

"Voice processing requires processing cycles," he added. "We dedicate as many cycles as necessary for each circuit that enters our box."

The Orca line also helps operators to institute the correct level of buffering, and includes a system for recovering lost packets.