News Release

SITA and EQUANT Deploy Cisco's High-Speed Dial Access Solutions

First Global Deployment of Cisco's Dial Access and Virtual Private Networking Technologies
Dec 15, 1997

SAN JOSE, Calif. - December 15, 1997 - SITA and EQUANT have selected Cisco Systems, Inc. to provide the platform for their portfolio of high-speed dial access and virtual private networking (VPN) solutions designed for multinational businesses. This multimillion-dollar agreement enables SITA and EQUANT to deliver differentiated dial-in service offerings based on Cisco's AS5200 universal access servers and VPN features built into the Cisco IOS software platform.

The SITA and EQUANT joint venture owns and operates the world's largest international communications network, providing voice, data and access to a broad range of information processing services to customers in more than 225 countries and territories, serving over 900 locations via more than 120,000 customer connections worldwide. SITA supports business-critical applications for more than 630 airline and air transport-related companies. EQUANT provides services to its rapidly growing base of multinational customers in the travel and hospitality, trade and transportation, financial services and energy market sectors as well as others. SITA and EQUANT launched their first IP dial, ISDN-based service earlier this year.

Teaming Up to Ensure High Quality of Service and Scalability

"Managing quality of service (QoS) and costs in a global rollout were high priorities," said Laurence Huntley, executive vice president of marketing for EQUANT. "By teaming up with Cisco, we ensured consistent, high QoS and 'future-proofed' our dial access capabilities with a highly scalable, end-to-end solution."

The first high-speed virtual private dial service to result from the Cisco relationship is the PPP Dial Access service launched by SITA and EQUANT earlier this year. The PPP Dial Access service delivers high-quality ISDN remote network access for a multinational company's traveling executives, telecommuting employees and branch offices, and it is already available in 25 countries. "We have been extremely pleased with the initial customer take-up of this service," said Huntley. "The industry-leading capabilities of the Cisco dial platform have allowed us to win several substantial dial service contracts in new industry sectors, such as banking and finance."

Using a combination of Cisco AS5200 universal access servers and Cisco 4700 series routers, SITA and EQUANT offer a variety of dial services that allow mobile users to dial into their corporate offices from dial access points in more than 160 countries.

Cisco IOS Software Was Key to Service Differentiation and Seamless Integration

"Choosing Cisco for our global dial access platform allowed us to further our relationship," said Reni Azoulai, vice president of marketing for SITA. "With Cisco IOS software as our consistent network platform, we've already realized significant savings in operator training, service deployment, network management and administration-up to 200% in some cases. Its advanced features and built-in scalability will enable us to meet increasing demand for high-speed dial access."

"In conjunction with the AS5200, Cisco IOS software gives SITA and EQUANT exciting new market opportunities," stated Jon Shantz, vice president of service provider marketing at Cisco. "Protocol translation capabilities and the Layer 2 Forwarding (L2F) protocol allow deployment of VPNs while enabling their customers to maintain their investment in legacy networks. It's a win-win situation for everyone."

The Cisco IOS software's protocol translator enables SITA and EQUANT to integrate low-speed, legacy X.28 traffic into its high-speed network. Cisco's L2F protocol enables SITA and EQUANT to build dial-in VPNs. VPNs give customers low-cost access to corporate networks or the Internet through shared public infrastructures while enabling them to control security and manageability.


SITA, founded in 1949, is an international company owned by the world's air transport industry, providing an extensive range of telecommunications and information processing services. EQUANT was founded in 1991 to provide value-added global voice and data network solutions to multinational companies. In a joint venture, the two companies own and operate the world's largest telecommunications network, which covers over 225 countries and territories and has more than 120,000 user connections worldwide. The network offers a broad range of voice and data services to multinationals in a variety of industries, including X.25 and Frame Relay, messaging, Global Voice Services, Business Intranet and Internet Solutions, and high-performance remote dial access services. Company news, product and service information are available at

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