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January 26, 1998

3COM ADDS IP SUPPORT TO ITS TOTAL CONTROL SWITCHES

By CBR Staff Writer

Data communications giant 3Com Corp has added voice over internet protocol support to its Total Control line of remote access switches, in a move to give internet service providers the capability to supply voice and fax services over the internet to their customers. The company reckons it is way ahead of rivals Bay Networks Inc and Cisco Systems Inc, which have both made moves into IP telephony already this year: Bay with a $37.7m investment in Netspeak Corp, and Cisco with the $160m acquisition of LightSpeed International Inc. The product deviates from other IP gateways launched by other companies, in which rival equipment specialised voice processing boards are used, whereas 3Com is using its programmable HiPer Digital Signal Processing chips to do the conversion and compression between a telephone call and IP packets. The technology comes out of a collaboration between 3Com and Siemens AG’s Telecoms Networks unit for voice over IP technology (CI No 3,178), and this represents the first move by 3Com into the voice over IP market. 3Com plans to add voice over IP capability into its own products and into the Siemens/Newbridge Wide Area Network equipment, through their Carrier Scale Internetworking alliance (CI No 3,264), which aims to optimize IP networking across the WAN. 3Com will ship the software to upgrade existing servers in March, with pricing due to be announced on launch, and the same capabilities will be added to the recently launched SuperStack II 3000 (CI No 3,306) business remote access server by year end.

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