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Vendors stand behind telephony standard

A group of networking and software vendors announce new support for an effort to provide standard-based interoperability among telephony platforms.

    A group of networking and software vendors today announced new support for an effort to provide standard-based interoperability among telephony platforms.

    Cisco, Siemens, Lucent Technologies, Ascend and four other companies today said that they will support iNow (interoperability Now), which is scheduled to be published in January.

    The iNow Profile will detail how to build interoperability between gateways from different vendors.

    Up until recently, carriers and callers were limited in the destinations they could reach since calls had to be terminated on the exact same platform from which they originated, the companies said. Thus, Internet telephony service providers had to choose between dependence on a single vendor or operating multiple parallel networks of incompatible gateways.

    Lucent along with multimedia communications software maker VocalTec jointly developed the iNow Profile and together with service provider ITXC wrote the interoperability guidelines based on International Telecommunications Union standards.

    "Open standards and vendor interoperability are critical to the success of packet telephony," Alistair Woodman, product line manager for packet telephony applications at Cisco Systems, said in a statement. "We are pleased to be working with other industry leaders to ensure wide acceptance of standards which will accelerate the rapid transition to 'new world' networks and services."