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Cisco calls on telecom market

Cisco Systems plans to roll out the results of a recent acquisition as part of a bid to replace widely used telecommunications equipment with new technology.

Cisco Systems plans to roll out the results of a recent acquisition later today as part of a bid to replace widely used telecommunications equipment with new technology.

A new technology called Dynamic Packet Transport, or DPT, will be targeted at networks that require more bang for their fiber-optic buck. The transport-focused set of protocols aspires to bring an Internet-oriented approach to carrier hardware and software.

That's consistent with the company's stated plans. But, data networking leader Cisco is also attempting to expand on its base of corporate and Internet service provider customers by taking its data expertise and extending into the often esoteric world of telecommunications equipment--a market dominated by competitors Nortel Networks and Lucent Technologies. The company is coming at the problem from a variety of angles.

As part of the rollout, a new device based on hardware garnered from the nearly $130 million acquisition of PipeLinks last December will be used to tie wide area links, like T1s, to local technologies, such as Ethernet.

The new technology is intended to lower the cost of implementing a voice and data network in metropolitan areas using technology based on the Internet protocol, or IP, according to Don Listwin, Cisco?s executive vice president.

"That's the space that in this quarter is a major initiative," Listwin told a group of analysts at a conference in San Francisco yesterday.

The DPT technology is part of Cisco?s strategy for optical networking and will be used as a means to bring the benefits of iron-clad networks based on synchronous optical networking, or SONET, to customers at a lower cost.

Cisco will release new connection hardware for the company?s existing 7500 and 12000 lines of routing devices by April.

"At the end of the day voice is the most important part of this game. No matter how you count this there are hundreds of billions of dollars of equipment and almost a trillion dollars worth of services," noted Listwin. "This is where a lot of the money is and has to go to. What Cisco is doing along with others in the industry is rebuilding a new voice-switching architecture."

Cisco executives said they planned to license the DPT technology to PMC-Sierra for use in the company?s line of semiconductors.