Intel Boosts Telephony Focus in Oki Deal

Intel Corp. made another move to bolster its telecommunications and networking products today when it announced a tie-up with Oki Corp. to jointly develop and market IP (Internet Protocol) telephony products.

"Even though Intel started as a semiconductor maker, it is focusing more on telephony products as indicated by this deal with Oki," Intel Japan President Nobuyuki Denda said here today.

Under the terms of the deal, Intel will give Oki access to the computer telephony software, network interfaces and media processing board technology the U.S. chip giant gained through its June acquisition of Dialogic Corp., according to Denda. [See "Intel to Acquire Dialogic for US$780 Million," June 1.] He emphasized that Intel's main strategic concern in the deal is to promote an universal open standard for next-generation VoIP (voice-over-IP) equipment.

VoIP communications equipment enables networks running IP to carry voice as packets of data. The technology will allow today's separate voice and data networks to be eventually converged into a single network, Oki President Katsumasa Shinozuka predicted.

Oki has a variety of VoIP hardware and software that it can bring to the deal with Intel, including Oki's CTstage (Computer Telephony stage) solution for integrating e-mail, fax and voice services on a network, Shinozuka said.

"Today, Oki is shipping VoIP products with Intel technology and in the future we will jointly develop and market VoIP solutions," said Shinozuka.

Intel's Denda and Shinozuka were vague as to precisely what products the two companies will collaboratively pursue, but said that they have already established a new project team to oversee the development and marketing of future hardware and software.

The two companies will initially target Japanese telecommunications companies and ISPs (Internet service providers) before eventually shipping products worldwide, Shinozuka said.

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