The Evolving Role of a Communications Tandem Provider

August 12, 2016

If asked to name the most powerful players enabling evolution in the communications industry, a tandem provider may not immediately come to mind.  After all, tandem service fifteen years ago was little more than the local phone company exchanging calls between carriers.  In that basic role the ILEC has wielded a great deal of control as a requisite path to the PSTN; carriers have been obligated to maintain physical interconnections to ILEC tandems in each market served, utilizing an increasingly outdated TDM protocol.  Through its need to dictate where and how carriers must access the PSTN, the tandem providers of old have largely disabled evolution in communications.

The good news is that a new kind of alternative tandem provider has emerged with the flexibility to support new technologies while absorbing the burden of residual legacy systems.  With multiprotocol capability and a robust backbone network, today’s tandem provider is uniquely positioned to act as a sort of protocol exchange, leveraging its infrastructure to accommodate each carrier’s interconnection preferences.  The concept is that the new nimble tandem provider connects to the legacy incumbent tandems on behalf of every communications company, leaving each company free to use the protocol of its choice exclusively.  Whether a company prefers SIP via dedicated Ethernet, or needs a voice/messaging API, or plans to remain on TDM… the tandem provider supports it.  The result is an industry of companies enabled to innovate.

Inteliquent is an alternative tandem provider. We power the new communications ecosystem, integrating all types of communications services on our network.   


James has a wealth of Inteliquent know-how having started as an Implementation Manager and now he conscientiously plans the Inteliquent network. When James is not working he seeks out unusual foods and enjoys listening to good jazz and blues.


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