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Japan Telecom To Test Cisco Solutions

Japan Telecom Co., Ltd. will evaluate Cisco Systems' IP-based networking solutions in the trial of the Japanese firm's next-generation network infrastructure, Progressive and Revolutionary Integration on Service Media (PRISM).

"Cisco shares a common understanding and vision with Japan Telecom," said Haruo Murakami, Japan Telecom's president. "With this collaboration, Japan Telecom can make PRISM the number-one network in Japan and a first-class global network."

The telecom is a leading Japanese provider of frame relay services and domestic and global seamless telecommunication services. Its frame relay, ATM, and IP/Internet Open Data Network (ODN) services currently operate on Cisco networking equipment.

PRISM will be developed as a IP+ATM network infrastructure for delivery of established services and next-generation IP services from a single platform.

"Cisco is delighted to be selected a Japan Telecom's collaboration partner for realizing the PRISM network," said Andy Lockhart, Cisco Japan's vice president of field operations.

"We believe our new-world technologies, including IP+ATM, optical IP, carrier-class IP telephony and a complete set of emerging local access solutions, as well as our commitment to a total support and integration solution will be a significant contribution to their success," continued Lockhart.

The initial trial of the PRISM network will include its integration into Japan Telecom's data networks, starting with ODN, Frame Relay and ATM services.

After successful integration of the IP core and connection to the established telephone network, Japan Telecom will be able to commercially launch voice-over-IP (VoIP) services.

According to a Japan Telecom representative, the field trial will begin in April 1999 and will target specific enterprise customers.

The company plans to expand the trial in July of next year and launch the network commercially in April 2000.

"In four or five years, we anticipate SONET-to-wave division multiplexing (WDM) migration, and within 10 to 15 years, we will eliminate our existing voice switches completely," a Japan Telecom executive predicted.

"We expect this will be a business model followed by service providers in Japan and around the world for delivering profitable integrated communications services using broadband packet technology," said Larry Lang, Cisco's vice president of service provider marketing.