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Cisco rolls out new devices, more deals

The data giant signs a number of deals and partnerships in the wireless and telecommunications arena while Newbridge sues WIC over a lost contract to Cisco.

Data giant Cisco Systems today inked a number of deals and partnerships in the wireless and telecommunications arena while unveiling new high-speed technology for corporations.

Cisco has been on crusade of late to garner interest in its data-based technology as a means to implement converged voice, video, and data services across a single network--a trend that is believed to be the next big thing in networking.

The company announced an expanded partnership with Bosch Telecom, a new alliance with telecom software provider Illuminet, and new deals for equipment from WIC Connexus and France Telecom.

The WIC Connexus deal has resulted in a lawsuit filed by competitor Newbridge Networks, a primary provider of equipment for the wireless carrier?s network.

Cisco and Bosch Telecom have expanded their partnership in order to develop wireless technology that can support combined voice, video, and data traffic.

The move builds on Cisco's recent cellular deal with communications giant Motorola. Cisco has maintained a relationship with Bosch since early 1998.

In conjunction with the closer ties, Cisco and Bosch will develop an upgrade to WIC Connexus's wireless network for both voice and Internet-based data services. The first phase of the upgrade will roll out across seven major markets in Canada over the next three years.

Competitor Newbridge Networks' stock dropped recently on word that Cisco pushed it out of contention for the WIC Connexus wireless contract. The resulting lawsuit asks WIC Connexus to honor the original equipment contract, which was publicly announced last August.

Cisco also plans to integrate its equipment for bridging voice and data-based networks with technology from telecommunications software provider Illuminet to take advantage of its Signaling System 7 technology. So-called SS7 provides carriers with software mechanisms to collect a variety of service and billing information.

Catering to its classical strength in corporate networking, Cisco announced a new switching device that supports the latest speed boost in Ethernet. Shipping next month, the new Catalyst 4912G switch can support up to 12 gigabit-speed Ethernet ports. Ethernet is the dominant networking technology for connecting PCs and server systems across a corporate department or building.

Separately, the company announced that France Telecom plans to implement the Cisco 12000 series Gigabit Switch Router device to upgrade the speed of its Internet protocol (IP) network. France Telecom plans to use the 12000 to upgrade its IP optical network to 155 megabit-per-second (mbps), with plans for an upgrade to 622 mbps soon.