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Cisco launches remote office gear

The networking giant debuts new routers and gateways and details the next stage in an effort to integrate voice, video, and data.

Computer networking kingpin Cisco Systems (CSCO) launched a new series of remote office routing devices and detailed the next stage in an effort to integrate voice, video, and data support within its equipment.

The company is attempting to provide gear that can tie branch offices to central sites with support for multimedia types to lower costs. The integration of voice, video, and data is one of the largest--and most hyped--trends in the network equipment industry, as various companies jockey for position to offer products to a variety of service providers.

The new 2600 series of routers, which will ship next month for $2,695, shares interfaces with the company's 1600 and 3600 lines, making it easier to provide multimedia or VPN (Virtual Private Network) capabilities across regional offices, according to the company.

The company also debuted new circuit-to-packet and cell gateways that allow multimedia traffic to be interchanged in Cisco's ATM (asynchronous transfer mode) switches and 7200 and 7500 routers. A new Java-based Cisco Voice Manager application can provide administration for voice-over-data network topologies.

The additions represent the company's third phase in a strategy to implement voice, video, and data capabilities across its equipment. Support has already been implemented in the company's remote access concentration devices and selected data-focused boxes.