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Stratus to hook routers to phones

The reliable-systems specialist joins with the giants of networking to help bring advanced services to Net-based multimedia networks.

Reliable-systems specialist Stratus Computer (SRA) has joined with the giants of networking to eventually bring advanced services to Net-based multimedia networks.

Stratus said it will work closely with a number of third parties to introduce a set of technologies that initially will help to connect data routing devices to the public telephone network and will, in the end, facilitate Net-based telephony schemes and related advanced services that most people now take for granted on phone networks.

Those included in the formation of the plans include Cisco Systems, Ascend Communications, 3Com, Bay Networks, and telecommunications giant MCI Communications.

Stratus provides high-end server systems that offer users minimal downtime. The company has carved out lucrative niches for itself, best exemplified by its role in the networks of 27 of the 30 world's largest telecommunications providers.

A key component in the company's plans is adoption of a technology called "SS7," which is a dominant part of phone networks.

Stratus and its partners plan a phased rollout of new technology, according to Rod Randall, vice president of marketing at the systems firm. The group will first focus on tying routing equipment to the telephone network. That enhancement is due by this summer.

Beyond that, the companies hope to add routing functions to equipment so that users won't get a busy signal when dialing into an Internet service provider. From there, the loosely nit consortium plans to offer technologies to facilitate business-quality telephony across the Net infrastructure.