SAN JOSE, Calif., February 21, 2001 - Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO), the worldwide leader in networking for the Internet, and El Paso Global Networks Company, an emerging network service provider and a subsidiary of El Paso Corporation (NYSE: EPG), announced today that the two companies have formed a strategic relationship to bring El Paso's merchant platform into the telecommunications market. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
El Paso Global Networks has committed to an end-to-end Cisco IP+Optical infrastructure network that will ultimately reach 34 metropolitan areas and will be capable of delivering reliable and flexible bandwidth services. With this strategy, El Paso Global Networks will provide its customers the ability to deploy assets more efficiently and acquire retail customers more rapidly. Additionally, El Paso Global Networks' customers will be able to better manage price pressures in the commoditizing bandwidth markets.
"The telecommunications industry is a market undergoing fundamental change. End-to-end liquidity will provide certain efficiencies with respect to provisioning and reliability that underpin our merchant telecommunications and bandwidth trading businesses," said Greg Jenkins, president and chief executive officer of El Paso Global Networks. "We believe that by applying our leading valuation and risk management skills to everything we do in the telecommunications industry, we can establish an excellent position to bring value to our shareholders and to our customers. We are excited to have this relationship with Cisco, a recognized technology leader with a shared vision about where the market is going."
Combining this expertise and Cisco's IP+Optical networking benefits, market pioneers such as El Paso Global Networks will meet the key requirements of customers: providing reliable, rapidly provisioned bandwidth on an end-to-end basis in the optical and IP bandwidth markets. El Paso Global Networks' service provider customers will be able to benefit from superior network performance, flexible pricing and rapid service delivery while enjoying scalable, high-bandwidth services.
A Cisco IP+Optical network uses a simplified architecture that treats transport, switching, and routing network layers as a unified whole, reducing management, provisioning and maintenance costs. With Internet-scale, carrier-class high-speed transport, IP connections and integrated MPLS support, Cisco's IP+Optical portfolio will enable El Paso Global Networks to offer customers an unprecedented flexible set of end-to-end multi-service offerings.
"By deploying Cisco's IP+Optical solutions, El Paso Global Networks will be able to open up new opportunities by offering end-to-end high-speed connections quickly and cost-effectively," said Kevin Kennedy, senior vice president of Cisco's service provider line of business. "El Paso's track record in the merchant energy business underscores their leadership in the development of markets going through fundamental change. Cisco's leading edge technologies in IP+Optical bring complementary competencies to the table at a critical inflection point in the industry. Together, the two companies will be able to accelerate the development of a liquid bandwidth environment on a world-class IP+Optical network infrastructure."