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Cisco Systems, Vocaltec to Offer Interoperable IP Telephony

Cisco Systems Inc. and VocalTec Communications Ltd. Wednesday began a joint venture to develop interoperability between their IP telephony solutions.

They will be using the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) H.323 Version 2 international standard as a model for their applications. As more vendors enter the industry, the two companies felt it was important to develop solutions with flexible platforms.

"VocalTec continues to fulfill our goal to bring to market comprehensive standards-based IP telephony solutions that manage networks, route traffic and support enhanced multimedia services in multi-vendor environments," said Elon Ganor, chairman at VocalTec Communications.

"By pursuing interoperability with market leaders such as Cisco Systems, and providing VocalTec IP telephony solutions on multiple platforms, VocalTec is meeting carrier and corporate customer needs for flexible high-performance solutions."

The first phase will interoperate the intelligence of the carrier-grade VocalTec Gatekeeper with Cisco gateways including the Cisco AccessPath-VS3, AS5300, 3600 series and 2600 series. The second phase of this project will focus on interoperability between the two companies' complete product sets including gateways, gatekeepers, conferencing servers and clients.

Field trials are expected to start in the fourth quarter with shipping product available in the first half of 1999.

"Cisco considers interoperability to be crucial to the success of packet telephony," said Alistair Woodman, product line manager for packet telephony applications at Cisco Systems. "We have recently stepped up our interoperability testing efforts and are pleased to be working with other market leaders like VocalTec."