Wholesale network operator Simwood has been selected by the London Internet Exchange (LINX) to provide highly available voice services. LINX is one of the world’s largest Internet Exchange Points (IXP), providing a meeting point to over 600 ISPs including Simwood. Its London network currently handles around 5Tbps of peak traffic and around 85% of the global Internet is reachable over it. It is considered critical national infrastructure due to the amount of Internet traffic from around the country that is exchanged there.
Whilst the LINX network is used by its members to exchange Internet traffic, it is vital it is able to manage that network even in the event of outage, and that members can reach staff that operate it. In fact, in the event of Internet disruption, it is even more important that staff are contactable. As LINX is so critical to the Internet it cannot be dependent on the Internet.
Having previously deployed VoIP internally in and between its two offices, LINX wished to embrace the wider benefits of it whilst enhancing availability. After a thorough selection process Simwood was chosen to supply the solution.
The Simwood network is quite unique. It operates an IP network spanning Edinburgh, Manchester, Slough and London and is built for high availability. Crucially, it also operates its own SS7 interconnects to BT and Virgin, each in multiple sites but does so in a different way to other operators to maximise availability. Its VoIP stack is distributed throughout the network and at each level is able to fail over between sites. It has no dependence on and competes directly with services from other operators such as BT’s IPExchange.
Simwood CEO Simon Woodhead commented, “We spend a lot of time trying to convey our unique selling points but they’re extremely technical and our differences can be superficially matched in marketing. It was a joy to receive an RFQ stipulating requirements that matched our USPs, for the exact reasons we built them, from such a technically competent organisation that could not be fobbed off. The process was very exhaustive right down to examination of fibre maps and failure scenarios because if LINX sneezes, the Internet catches a cold. We loved it!”
LINX CTO, Richard Petrie said, “Like any organisation we want the flexibility VoIP offers, but not at the expense of availability. We
needed to improve on ISDN30 in flexibility, cost and, crucially, uptime. We reviewed a number of proposals and found Simwood’s approach stood out. Their leadership on VoIP fraud mitigation and excellent real-time API were a welcome bonus.”
The solution is being deployed now and will be brought into service over coming months.
The London Internet Exchange (LINX) is the largest Internet Exchange Point operator in the UK, and the country’s largest membership
association for Internet Service Providers and other major network operators. LINX provides peering services and public policy
representation to 634 members across 63 countries and the LINX London network currently handles around 5 Tb/sec of peak traffic, 2.5 Tb/sec of which is over public peering. Around 85% of the global routing table is accessible through LINX.
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Simwood is a UK based wholesale provider of voice services. With over 700 wholesale customers, including two mobile networks, it leads the way in providing leading edge VoIP services. Established in 1996, and offering VoIP services since 2005 it has spent 10 years replacing every element of its supply chain in order to control the service offered to customers. Rather than bolt VoIP on to SS7, and then dismantle the SS7, Simwood started with VoIP and retro-fitted SS7 in order to interconnect fully at the right level with other operators. Whilst it deploys big brand hardware for voice and IP switching, and IP routing, it makes heavy use of numerous open source projects, all tied together with proprietary software. This enables Simwood to offer industry leading performance, on top of the richest real-time feature set available in voice wholesale. The company has recently brought this expertise to bear with Simwood Mobile which it describes as bringing deregulation to mobile.
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