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ITXC wants a healthy dose of Cisco

The leading Net phone service provider will use Cisco Systems gear in its network almost exclusively from now on, ITXC's chief executive says.

ITXC, a leading Internet phone service provider, will use Cisco Systems gear in its network almost exclusively from now on, the company's chief executive said Friday.

The voice over Internet protocol company, whose Internet-based phone network is used by 175 major telephone companies for international calling, will turn to a handful of other equipment makers to fill in the small gaps in gear that Cisco can't fill, said Tom Evslin, ITXC's chief executive. ITXC's network uses the Internet to ferry calls overseas, a cheaper way for carriers to complete their customers' calls than paying fees to roam on a competitor's network. Such calls can be made from telephone systems that tap into the Internet and from PCs.

Evslin said ITXC will be using Cisco's AS5000 Universal Gateway, which converts a telephone signal into digital packets that can travel over the Web, and its PGW2200 Softswitch, which directs the flow of calls over the Web. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

ITXC had been getting its equipment from other providers besides Cisco, including Lucent Technologies, VocalTec and Clarent, Evslin said.

The digital pipeline built by ITXC is the most often used in the world, according to various market surveys. About 20 percent of all international phone calls that use the Web travel over the ITXC network, or about 2 percent of all international calls dialed.