IP Telephony Products Proliferate

SAN MATEO (05/12/2000) - At the NetWorld+Interop show in Las Vegas this week, vendors continued to preach the benefits of integrating voice onto enterprise data networks and revealed Internet telephony wares and enhancements.

Cisco Systems Inc. rolled out an IP telephony system -- aimed at branch offices and small and midsize companies -- that is designed to drop into an existing network. The ICS (Integrated Communications System) 7750 can support as many as 150 users, and will ship this summer, priced from $765 per seat.

3Com Corp. expanded the T1 connectivity services available for its NBX Communications System by adding T1 PRI (Primary Rate Interface) software services to the NBX Digital Line Card. Services include electronic 911 connectivity and access to T1 services such as automatic number identification.

3Com also added support for Microsoft Windows 2000 applications. The enhancements will be available in July through a free software upgrade.

@Comm Corp. announced Town Square, which combines a PBX, call processing features, an integrated Layer 2 LAN switch, broadband WAN access, and an embedded router in a single box aimed at small businesses. Pricing and availability were not revealed.

Analysts commented that aside from the cost benefits of IP telephony, it also has other advantages. "IP telephony will enable new applications. ... In an IP telephony system, every IP phone can be the equivalent of a call center seat," said Robert Olson, senior analyst at Phillips Publishing, in Cherry Hill, New Jersey.

Cisco Systems Inc., in San Jose, California, is at www.cisco.com. 3Com Corp., in Santa Clara, California, is at www.3com.com. @Comm Corp., in Burlingame, California, is at www.atcomm.com.

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