Cisco, Ericsson Team Up On IP Technology

The non-exclusive agreement is aimed at leveraging Ericsson's relationships with telecommunications service providers and Cisco's strong market share in Ethernet products. Two major telecom service providers--Spain's Telefonica and Australia's Telstra--hailed the alliance at its inception.

"The alliance builds on Ericsson's strengths in multi-service networks, along with leading expertise in systems integration, and Cisco Systems' leadership in IP routing and Ethernet," the firms said in a statement. "Core network solutions offered under the alliance, addressing both classic telephony and new multimedia services, will be built around Ericsson's ENGINE softswitch portfolio and Cisco's core routing products."

The firms said the carrier-class IP solutions they will provide will include professional services, noting that they will jointly define and integrate multi-service network solutions. Ericsson's greatest strength has been in wireless telecommunications technologies, and its expertise and connections in carrier markets will play to Cisco's market share in the core of the Internet.

The firms said Ericsson's IP-based DSL access multiplexer and its IP Service Engine, combined with Cisco's Ethernet offerings, will constitute one major broadband access offering by the firms.

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The alliance was blessed by Telstra, whose group managing director said the collaboration will enable the Australian telecom service provider to move "cost effectively" through network evolution towards an IP/packet-based infrastructure. Cesar Alierta, Telefonica's chairman and CEO, also praised the alliance, indicating the Spanish firm will use the combined Ericsson-Cisco approach to improve its IP infrastructure.

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