ATLANTA, Jan. 11, 2000 - Equant (NYSE: ENT) (Paris Bourse: EQU) today announced plans to launch the world's first fully integrated global voice and data service over Internet Protocol (IP) technology.
For the first time, businesses will be able to use one network connection to integrate high-quality voice with their array of IP data applications. This capability will give them the ability to voice enable their intranets and extranets, giving them the flexibility to compete effectively in the fast-moving e-commerce marketplace.
Equant will formally introduce the new 50-country service, which uses modular multiservice routers and voice-over-IP technology from Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO), in February after completing the trial of its 21-city, 11-country demonstration network. The planned launch follows Equant's successful October 1998 introduction of iVAD, which enabled businesses, for the first time, to integrate voice and data using frame relay technology on one network connection.
"Our collaboration with Equant in the development of voice-over-IP services reflects a shared vision of the future of integrated access and packet telephony," said Gary Mattevi, vice president and general manager of Cisco's Managed Services Access Business Unit. "Cisco is pleased to be providing the key enabling technology for Equant's leading-edge managed IP voice services."
"Equant's new integrated, simple, high-quality voice-over-IP service is designed to help multinational businesses quickly realize the benefits to be gained from the growth of the global IP infrastructure," said Didier Delepine, Equant's president and chief executive officer.
Equant's new fully managed and integrated voice and data over IP offering will be backed by global service level agreements, which means customers will gain the high-quality voice and flexibility they need to compete more effectively in locations worldwide. Customers will be able to:
- Get any-to-any global connectivity, which speeds their voice and data traffic around the world because Equant's service does not require complex networks with point-to-point connections.
- Quickly change the amount of bandwidth needed at any location by simply calling Equant.
- Leverage the flexibility of Cisco's multiservice routers to make quick changes to their network configuations through simple software changes. Equant manages all of this using a common global network management system.
- Take a first step into any forthcoming voice and data services needed in the future. These include web-based call centers, LAN telephony, unified messaging, Internet services that promote collaboration in the workplace, customer service tools, and other applications that require high-quality voice and data services not available using voice-over-IP technology until today.
- Get the highest quality voice service because Equant and Cisco have worked to design and test a service that efficiently prioritizes and allocates bandwidth for voice and data.
Equant: Voice-Data Integration Leader
Since it was announced late last year, more than 75 multinational business customers have contracted to use Equant's iVAD service. iVAD and Equant's new integrated voice and data over IP service do away with the notion that businesses have to buy separate networks for their voice and data traffic.
Equant recognizes regulators will treat its new integrated offering as a voice service. The company will offer and provide the new service only in accordance with local regulations. As always, Equant will continue to expand its regulatory authority to provide its full portfolio of services in more and more countries around the world.