Intel Chiefs Push Open Standards for Telecoms

Intel president and CEO Craig Barrett has challenged telecommunications industries' reliance on closed and proprietary technology, claiming that this position will see it struggle to cope with the costs of meeting escalating traffic volumes in coming years.

In his keynote address to Telecom Asia 2000 in Hong Kong Barrett worked to position Intel as a provider of open standards building blocks of the kind that he believes should be adopted by the telecommunications and service providers.

Open standards, he claimed, would facilitate competition in all areas of communications infrastructure and bring similar cost-crunching benefits to those delivered by open standards within the computing industry.

Barrett added that the company would compete for "design wins" with communication suppliers, a challenge to be pushed along by the extension of the Intel Communications Fund from US$200 million to US$500 million.

These funds are slated for investment in companies developing networking and communications building blocks "complementary" to the Intel Exchange Archictecture and CT Media Software. The fund also added wireless technology as an area of focus.

In a later session, John Landau, vice president, strategic marketing for Intel's Dialogic subsidiary, said the communications infrastructure suppliers such as Lucent, AT&T, and Ericson were already making the transition to open and modular architectures. However there is much work to be done in formal standards bodies and industry forums, he added.

Open standards would allow suppliers to shift their focus from manufacturing towards building services platforms.

In an associated announcement, Intel introduced the Intel Communications Platform provided by its acquisition of Dialogic. The platform is based on Dialogic CT Media service software and Windows 2000 technology to offer applications such as an enterprise software switch, IT telephony, unified messaging, automatic speech recognition, and autoattendant. Landau said that partners could use the platform to roll out solutions for vertical segment customers such as travel agents, giving them billing, scheduling, em

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