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January 29, 1998

FORE & PICTURETEL TO OFFER LAN ATM VIDEOCONFERENCING

By CBR Staff Writer

Asynchronous Transfer Mode networking equipment company Fore Systems Inc has teamed up with video conferencing outfit PictureTel Corp to develop and market Large Area Network videoconferencing over ATM networks. The agreement will enable users to scale a desktop videoconferencing system on an enterprise scale. Work has already started on integrating Andover, Massachusetts-based PictureTel’s H.323 standards-based LiveLAN videoconferencing system with Fore’s family of ATM networking systems. The resulting products, expected to appear early in the next quarter, should produce higher quality video and audio conferencing throughout a network. Financial terms of the deal are being kept under wraps, but Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-based Fore senior marketing manager Jacques Welter says the deal is significant in terms of engineering investment. PictureTel and Fore will throw themselves into competition in the desktop videoconferencing space with the likes of First Virtual Corp (CI No 3,090). Welter says the main aim behind the venture is to provide an enabling technology with a higher bandwidth than existing products on the market, that will be beneficial to both companies’ customers. When the technology has been applied to a product, the companies will ship it on a world wide basis.

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