ATLANTA (Feb. 25, 2002) - Equant (NYSE: ENT) (Euronext Paris: EQU) is introducing global IP Telephony, the next major step in providing a full suite of voice services that will enable multinational companies to move seamlessly from traditional switched telephone services to Internet Protocol telephone systems carried on the same networks as video and data.
Equant announced IP Telephony, the industry's first Local Area Network (LAN)-based, carrier-grade IP telephone solution with global availability, at the VoiceCon 2002 trade show in Washington, D.C.
"The introduction of IP Telephony means Equant now offers a full range of network products and services to multinational companies wherever they are in the cycle of migrating from switched telephone systems to full IP Telephony on an IP VPN," said Arjen Maarleveld, head of Products for Equant. "We are committed to supporting the voice needs of companies that want to evolve into the rapidly maturing converged IP voice, video and data services."
While continuing to support companies that use PBX and voice services, Equant also provides Voice for IP VPN as well as the new, full range of IP Telephony services. Equant is able to offer the suite of voice services because of its homogeneous global network, a strong relationship with technology leader Cisco Systems, Inc. and its flexible MPLS-based IP VPN solution, which allows data and voice to be prioritized with Classes of Service.
Equant will offer the IP Telephony solution during the second quarter of 2002 in all 60 countries where Equant's Voice for IP VPN service is now available. Three multinational customers with sites on four continents are currently using IP Telephony in trials. IP Telephony joins Equant's voice portfolio as a fully integrated option of Equant Voice for IP VPN, extending convergence from the corporate WAN (wide area network) down to the desktop. Customer benefits include:
- Productivity-enhancing applications - IP Telephony promotes increased productivity, mobility and control by enabling employees to send and retrieve e-mail, fax and voice messages regardless of where they are.
- Savings on capital and operating expenses - Convergence reduces customer premise equipment and network expenses. IP Telephony allows multiple sites to be administered as a single system.
- Smooth migration path - Equant supports traditional PBX and voice services, allowing customers to protect their PBX investments while migrating new sites to IP Telephony at their own pace and supporting interoperability.
The announcement of IP Telephony follows months of intensive work among Cisco and Equant research and development teams, which worked together to enable the solution based on Cisco multiservice CPE routers, AVVID architecture and IP PBX platform.
"We are extremely pleased with our long-standing relationship with Equant," said Ian Pennell, vice president and general manager, Multiservice Customer Edge Business Unit, Cisco Systems. "Equant is leading the way in delivering converged, managed multi-service offerings via full interoperability between its intelligent network Voice for IP VPN gatekeeper and Cisco CallManager. By deploying Cisco's multiservice CPEs and AVVID architecture on top of a scalable Cisco MPLS IP VPN core, Equant's end-to-end IP Telephony service is demonstrating the power of IP on a converged network and enabling value-added applications with robust, flexible features."
"Customer interest in IP telephony and voice/data convergence across corporate local and wide area networks is now growing rapidly," said Peter Hall, Principal Analyst at Ovum. "Equant has been active in offering voice capabilities and SLAs over its global IP VPN service, and is now first to market with a global solution for multinational companies that provides end to end IP telephony across a global corporate network right down to the desktop."
The Equant IP Telephony service offers unlimited scalability with on-net calling in 60 countries and territories, off-net termination to more than 237 countries and territories and Contact Center call collection from 40 countries and territories. As customers transition to Voice for IP VPN and IP Telephony, Equant will support them with a variety of IP Telephony professional services, deployment and maintenance services and enterprise remote management services.