Supercomm: Not Just for Carriers Anymore

ATLANTA (05/26/2000) - - With the blurring of the line between enterprise and public networks, the SuperComm 2000 show next week will be a must-watch for corporations. This year, the traditionally carrier-focused show will go out of its way to highlight products and services for corporate networks.

Part of the SuperComm 2000 show floor will be dedicated to communications gear for companies with a focus on voice, video and data convergence.

Dubbed the Enterprise Communications Zone, this section will embrace products and services familiar to enterprise executives: hubs, routers, call centers and multilayer switches, just to name a few.

Likewise, a separate section will be set aside for carriers and ISPs to hawk their enterprise network services.

Digital subscriber line (DSL) technology will make a splash, with demonstrations showing that the equipment is mature enough for the vast rollouts being planned by major carriers.

The demonstration will focus on asymmetric DSL and the ability for vendors' gear to interoperate based on the ADSL standard. That includes full-rate versions capable of 8M-bit/sec downloads as well as a simpler version that handles 1.5M-bit/sec downloads. Past interoperability demonstrations were limited, but this one promises any-to-any connectivity.

Voice over high-speed DSL circuits will also be hot at the show, with CopperCom, Efficient Networks Inc., Net to Net, and partners Tachion and Vina Technologies promising product announcements. The technology can bring corporations low-cost bundles of voice, data and Internet access over a single line, streamlining ordering and provisioning.

To prevent these DSL access services from choking carrier nets, makers of optical gear have products they will introduce that can bring inexpensive gigabit bandwidth to local access networks.

Many of the upstart optical vendors, such as Astral Point, Corvis Corp. and Calient, will introduce new gear, new features and interoperability.

New carrier gear that promises to support efficient, flexible IP voice and data networks will also be unveiled.

Integral Access will announce new features that give its gear the ability to support IP phone calls, a key ingredient to converged network services.

Integral will announce that its PurePacket Node access gateway supports Multi-protocol Label Switching, which enables quality-of-service guarantees that make high-quality voice calls possible.

In addition, the company will announce its support for the Media Gateway Control Protocol, which lets PurePacket Node set up calls by conferring with a separate software-based voice switch.

Other makers of carrier gear will demonstrate new services that are possible based on their products. For example, IPVerse will show a wireless personal digital assistant that changes the call forwarding features of a phone service by connecting directly with an IPVerse phone switch. The IPVerse software-based switches are designed to be more flexible than existing phone switches in enabling new services.

A comprehensive demonstration of voice-over-IP technology will be staged by a group of 20 vendors including 3Com Corp., Cisco Systems Inc. and Copper Mountain Networks Inc.

The demonstration will feature services such as unified messaging, IP phone calls over traditional and IP phones, and the ability for customers to provision services themselves.

In addition, the show will boast keynote speakers such as AT&T President John Zeglis and Federal Communications Commission Chairman William Kennard.

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