Deals Flow from Telecom Show

Early news out of a major telecom trade shows in Switzerland is anything but neutral.

As evidence of an industry uptick continues to mount, a slew of companies are trumpeting customer and technology announcements at ITU World Telecom.

So far, however, the biggest news has come from a software developer, not a telecom company. Looking to expand outside the PC realm, Microsoft said it will collaborate with Vodafone to extend Web services standards to mobile devices.

Another area the Redmond, Wash., giant said it is investing in is Wi-Fi. Microsoft said it will launch software that helps identify users of networks and automatically sets their level of access.

In a more traditional telecom segment, Cisco said this morning its 12000 series router platform will be used in Verizon’s national Internet protocol network.

The gear will help Verizon provide large corporations, government agencies and nonprofits with local area network services and Voice-over-IP . Financial terms were not disclosed.

Cisco has several news items ready for the show.

“Cisco’s announcements this week are geared to the carrier space,” Cisco spokeswoman Martina Moscone told “However, the Verizon announcement is of special significance as it underscores Cisco’s commitment the telecom space with another major core win with an incumbent carrier.”

Earlier this year, Cisco landed AT&T, SBC and BellSouth, she said. And at the end of 2002, it added Sprint as a customer.

For months, Cisco executives have said small and medium businesses would lead the way out of the networking equipment slump. But carriers, who have been stingy when it comes to upgrades, have recently shown signs of loosening their purse strings, espcially for IP initiatives and new mobile phone technology.

Analysts with SG Cowen’s telecom group said this morning that growing success with carriers is one of the reasons they believe Cisco can speed growth in fiscal 2004 and 2005.

Other news coming from ITU’s first day includes:

  • British Telecom announced a set of information communication technology (ICT) services to help companies with multiple facilities to better use IP technology. The services touch upon customer relationship management, IT services and mobility.
  • Wi-fi wholesale network operator Cloud said it will take its UK strategy of deploying dense, wholesale Wi-fi networks into Europe through a series of partnerships. The Cloud also announces a number of deals with third party service providers, who will offer branded Wi-Fi access across The Cloud’s UK network.

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