Israel’s fixed line incumbent Bezeq has contracted Redback Networks to deploy its SmartEdge Multi-Service Edge Router solution as the foundation of its next generation network (NGN). Together with its Israeli partner Taldor Communications, Redback will provide Bezeq with a complete SmartEdge solution enabling the telco to offer advanced IP-based subscriber services to consumers, businesses and wholesale customers. The company’s carrier-class, scalable SmartEdge product family integrates carrier class edge routing, advanced subscriber management and high density Ethernet aggregation functions.
Confusion surrounds the rollout of Bezeq’s IP infrastructure, after it was reported that the telco was to halt the development of its NGN in April, citing an uncertain regulatory environment. The telco has been working on its NGN project since late 2004, but CEO Yacov Gelbard has long complained of unclear regulations concerning VoIP and video-on-demand (VoD) services, which he says have prevented him from fully assessing the feasibility of the network. Bezeq or one of its subsidiaries hopes to be able to provide VoIP services over the NGN and has requested rights to do so from the MoC. However, the regulator is denying it access to the IP telephony market until its market share in the fixed line domestic telephony segment has fallen below 85%. There is also confusion over whether Bezeq’s satellite broadcast subsidiary YES will be allowed to provide VoD services over the new infrastructure.