News Release

Cisco Announces First High Density Media Gateway to Integrate TDM and VoIP

Cisco MGX 8260 Enables Service Providers to Cap Investment in Circuit-Switched Networks and Accelerate Delivery of New IP Services from Packet-Based Networks
Nov 22, 1999

SAN JOSE, Calif., Nov. 22, 1999 - Meeting the demands of service providers to accelerate the shift of revenue and profits from circuit-switched networks to packet networks, Cisco Systems, Inc. today announced the newest addition to its IP+ATM family of carrier-grade multiservice products-the Cisco MGX 8260 media gateway. It is the first integrated media gateway that has the open interfaces necessary to seamlessly integrate Time Division Multiplexing (TDM) and voice over IP (VoIP) enabling service providers to cap their investment in traditional circuit-switched networks and accelerating the delivery of value-added IP services that ensure long-term growth and revenues.

Today, circuit-switched networks are overloaded due to the explosion of Internet traffic. Circuit-switched networks, designed for call hold times of three minutes, are buckling under the load of Internet traffic with average call hold times measured in hours. The Cisco MGX 8260 relieves this critical congestion problem by offloading modem-based data calls from circuit-switched networks onto packet networks. This frees the circuit-switched network to handle more voice calls without additional investment, while reducing costs for modem calls by as much as 50 percent. Service providers can more quickly and efficiently deliver existing voice services and new, value-added services from a packet-based network that ensure long-term revenue and growth opportunities.

The Cisco MGX 8260 is designed to optimize the traffic that flows between TDM networks and packet networks. In addition to the modem call grooming capability, the MGX 8260 locally switches TDM calls and performs VoIP gateway functions. Unlike other media gateway products that force service providers to choose between a VoIP-only or TDM-only circuit infrastructure, the Cisco MGX 8260 is the only media gateway with unified TDM and VoIP capabilities and the high density service providers require.

"With the ability of circuit-switched networks to generate new revenue and profits rapidly decreasing, service providers realize they must accelerate the rate at which they recognize profits from their packet-based networks," said Kevin Kennedy, senior vice president of Cisco's service provider line of business. "The Cisco MGX 8260 is being used by established and emerging service providers to accelerate the transition from traditional circuit-switched voice networks to New World packet-based networks that will generate long-term revenue and profit growth through value-added, integrated voice and data services."

Ray Whinery, Senior Vice President - Technologies, Operations and Engineering for Time Warner Telecom Inc. said, "Today, only Cisco offers a complete, integrated solution that will enable us to migrate from a TDM network to a packet network more quickly and efficiently than we originally anticipated. With the MGX 8260, we'll be able to deliver innovative new IP services rapidly, as well as cut our TDM costs significantly."

Based on technology from Cisco's acquisition of TransMedia Communications Inc., the Cisco MGX 8260 is the highest performance, most flexible and most cost-efficient media gateway available today. The MGX 8260 complements Cisco's complete line of carrier-grade multiservice switches and service gateways, including the MGX 8220 service gateway and the MGX 8850 multiservice IP+ATM switch. Cisco's MGX product family provides a comprehensive solution set that delivers the best of both IP and ATM.

The MGX 8260 has the capacity to support 170,000 voice circuits in a seven-foot telco rack, and provides the flexibility to offload TDM and VoIP traffic across a range of interfaces and networks, while maintaining 99.999 percent service availability. Unlike traditional circuit switches and other media gateway switches, it can maintain calls in progress even in the event of a system failure.

Voice and dial communications are controlled through the Media Gateway Control Protocol (MGCP), an open protocol that allows the MGX 8260 to be controlled by a centralized or distributed call control system. Additionally, both the media gateway and call control system provide tight integration with service providers' operations support systems, billing and service creation environments, ensuring interoperability and a smooth transition to new converged voice and data packet services.

"I am impressed with how quickly Cisco reinvents itself to meet the new needs of carriers," said Laurie Gooding, senior analyst, Cahners In-Stat Group. "With the growth of data traffic surpassing voice traffic on service provider networks, service providers must be able to support all existing and future service classes with efficiency, flexibility and most importantly-reliability. The MGX 8260's unique differentiators are testaments to Cisco's leadership in building the next generation of carrier equipment. The company has a very realistic and pragmatic approach to helping carriers build services today while simultaneously investing in IP for future value-added services."

Pricing and Availability

The Cisco MGX 8260 media gateway switch is available now. Pricing for the product starts at US$50,000.

Cisco Systems

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

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