News Release

Cisco Multiservice Access Products Expand Packet-Based Voice Networks and New World Services

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- March 20, 1999 -- Cisco Systems, Inc.
Mar 20, 1999

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- March 20, 1999 -- Cisco Systems, Inc. today introduced software and hardware enhancements to its well-established and deployed multiservice access products enabling service providers and enterprise customers to build large-scale, packet-based voice infrastructures at a fraction of the cost of traditional technologies. With these new enhanced capabilities, the customers of the over 200,000 installed multiservice access routers and concentrators can take advantage of integrating voice, video and data onto one network.

"To build a large international VoIP network, we selected Cisco because of it's multiservice access solutions and leadership in the packet-based voice networks market," said Jim Frary, senior network architect of Nu Skin Enterprises, Inc. "The VoIP quality provided by the Cisco solution is better than the voice quality we receive today on our standard phone system."

New software enhancements on the Cisco 2600 multiservice access routers, Cisco 3600 multiservice access routers and Cisco MC3810 multiservice access concentrators provide the means for standards-based Voice over Frame Relay (VoFR). Subsequently, Cisco provides additional enhancements to the industry standard allowing customers to provide voice switching and tandem PBX bypass across multiple permanent virtual circuits, based on the dialed phone number. New Voice over IP (VoIP) software enhancements on the Cisco 2600 and 3600 provide customers with a reliable, scalable VoIP network that can integrate international sites easily.

New voice hardware interfaces supporting the customers choice of either VoFR or VoIP make possible connections to private branch exchanges (PBXs) with Base Rate Interfaces (BRI), as well as the traditional telephony interfaces, such as T1/E1, E&M, FXO and FXS. The new interfaces enable customers in a wide range of countries, including Europe, to connect their digital PBXs directly to the Cisco multiservice routers.

"Cisco's multiservice access solutions are engineered to enable service providers to deploy high-demand New World services," said Alex Mendez, vice president and general manager of Cisco's Multiservice Access Business Unit. "These new software enhancements provide a clear indication of Cisco's leadership in the delivery of integrated data, voice and video solutions."

Common Voice Architecture

The voice framework with Cisco IOS. software provides the complete and seamless integration of data, voice and video. It enables enterprise customers' and service providers' the ability to roll out large networks and services based on VoIP or VoFR. For example, the common Cisco voice framework based on the Cisco Open Packet Telephony architecture allows scalability and interoperability of voice over packet services from low-density, multiservice VoIP/VoFR routers to carrier class VoIP gateways. Additionally, Cisco's multiservice access routers, in combination with Cisco's H.323 Gatekeeper, allow customers to build very large VoIP networks.

Cisco's VoFR solutions continue to offer additional capabilities based on the common Cisco IOS software framework. In the new release of software and hardware, Cisco is now offering VoFR functionality on a wide variety of platforms, including the Cisco 7200, 3600 Series, 2600 Series and MC3810. All of these products are interoperating with standards-based Frame Relay Forum solutions, including FRF.11 and FRF.12.

New Software Features Enable New Applications for Service Providers

A new set of comprehensive features enables service providers the use of Cisco multiservice access routers when deploying VoIP services. These features include Integrated Voice Response (IVR), AAA security features for user authentication and logging of call detail records.

The multiservice access routers like the Cisco 2600 Series and 3600 Series interwork with the often-deployed Cisco 5300 VoIP Gateway making an ideal solution for the service provider rolling out VoIP managed services.

"Cisco's networking solutions offer companies the ability to maximize their existing infrastructure while providing a bridge to a New World architecture," said Jeff Pulver, president of "Service providers can now utilize the best of both worlds in a cost-effective, scalable environment."

Pricing and Availability

The new software features are enabled in current versions of Cisco IOS software. The BRI Voice Interface Card for the Cisco 2600/3600 starts at $950 for two BRI Interfaces and is currently shipping. The BRI voice interface for Cisco MC3810 is currently shipping at a starting price of $2,400 for four BRI interfaces.

Cisco is offering a program for customers to trade-in their existing Cisco 2500 routers for one of the new multiservice products.

Cisco Systems

Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) is the worldwide leader in networking for the Internet.

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