Nortel Networks announced Wednesday new gear that will handle phone calls over the Internet. The Succession Communication Server 2000 adds to Nortel's softswitch product line for telecommunications carrier customers, which includes the Succession Communication Server 1000. The equipment is powered in part by components made by Motorola and uses a Linux-based operating system.
Softswitch gear basically bridges the technology protocols used to run a phone network to those involved in transporting phone calls via IP (Internet protocol) traffic. Traditional phone networks use a dedicated circuit that carries voice calls in their entirety while softswitches break up a call into IP packets on one end then realign them in their proper order when they reach their destination. Companies that make the same kinds of equipment include Cisco Systems and Siemens.