CommWorks adds 'universal port' features to access box

By Phil Hochmuth, Network World |  Networking

A software upgrade for CommWorks Corp.'s Total Control 1000 Enhanced Data System
could allow service providers to terminate voice, data and fax connections from
any port in the box's chassis, the company says.

CommWorks, the carrier equipment subsidiary of 3Com Corp., also plans to add
V.92 modem support to Total Control 1000, a standard that's intended to improve
throughput of 56K bit/sec dial-up links. CommWorks announced the software upgrades
at the ISPCon show this week.

The "universal port" software upgrade could allow service providers
to make phone-to-phone connections over their IP data infrastructures, regardless
of whether the parties are connected via broadband, Ethernet, ISDN or T-1, or
dial-up lines. CommWorks says this can save costs for service providers by allowing
them to provision converged services without having to install separate line
cards for voice, data and fax ports.

Included in the universal port software upgrade is support for the session
initiation protocol (SIP) and Signaling System 7 (SS7), a communications standard
which controls the protocols for making phone calls over the public telephone
network. According to the company, SS7 support will allow the Total Control
1000 to connect IP voice calls over the public phone network by integrating
with the CommWorks 4007 SS7 Gateway.

Compatibility with SIP, an emerging IP telephony protocol, will allow IP voice
calls to be handled by other SIP-enabled devices, such as SIP gateways and IP
phones on a service provider's network, or on other IP voice networks.

The support for the V.92 dial-up modem standard in the Total Control 10000
could allow service providers to better support customers who are using the
new modem technology. The new dial-up modem standard improves on the 56K bit/sec
V.90 standard by allowing phone calls to come in while users are online and
providing faster data uploads and quicker dial-up connection time.

The V.92 software upgrade will be available in the third quarter. The universal
port software is in field trials with service provider customers and will be
available in the fourth quarter.

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