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Northern Telecom Ltd has announced several new products and agreements, including a technology alliance with Cisco Systems Inc, a similar agreement with Ing C Olivetti & Co SpA, and a new member of its Magellan family. The new Magellan Access Switch is being pitched at branch offices, and is said to provide bridging and routing for Token Ring networks as well as SNA switching. Based on a 32-bit processor architecture – last time we heard, Northern Telecom was using MIPS Technologies Inc R3000s – it comes with four slots for combinations of up to 32 local network, wide area network or user ports which Northern Telecom says can be configured according to user requirements; indeed, the company claims that more than 1,800 configurations of the switch are possible. On the wide area side, the product is said to support Frame Relay or private line carrier interfaces which can either be redundant or automatically backed up via public network services. Data prioritisation for SNA traffic is provided through the company’s Multiple Priority System. The product is available immediately, but there is no word yet on pricing. The agreement with Cisco is designed to bring extra functionality to the Access Switch, as well as Northern Telecom’s existing DPN-100 frame switching system, specifically by adding Ethernet comptability. The two companies will jointly design a router board for the products, while Northern Telecom is to license Cisco’s local network routing software for use with it. The exchange builder says that Ethernet functionality will be available on the products in July. Also launched is the Mini Base Transceiver Station, which was designed, developed and manufactured by the Nortel Matra Cellular joint venture between Northern Telecom and Matra Communication SA: designed for use with GSM, DCS1800 and PCS 1900 networks, it is said to provide the same functionality as the Northern Telecom Base Transceiver Station but measures less than nine sqaure feet. No word on pricing. Finally, through the deal with Olivetti, the two are to develop equipment for the mobile multimedia office market conforming to the Digital European Cordless Telecommunications standard, and using the Generic Access Profile open standard terminal. The two say they will use Olivetti’s experience with its Net3 European Cordless-based wireless local network, and Northern Telecom’s Companion wireless communications systems: for launch in the latter half of 1995, the system will comprise a combined ISDN-based PABX and wireless local network.

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