IBM Targets Telecommunications Industry With New Linux-Based Deployment Platform

New Offering Could Facilitate Low-Cost, Reliable Next-Generation Network Solutions for Service Providers

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ARMONK, NY - 22 Jan 2004: IBM today announced the immediate availability of a new Linux-based deployment offering, the Carrier Grade Open Framework (CGOF) Reference Implementation. This new platform, which includes CGOF compliant hardware and middleware components and services, is designed to address many of the obstacles faced by Telecom service providers when introducing new network services.

"IBM continues to fulfill the commitment we made at SuperComm in June of 2003, by executing an aggressive strategy to invest in, and deliver integrated Linux-based solutions for the Telecommunications marketplace," said Hernan Vega, vice president, IBM Global Telecommunications Industry. "We plan to continue to add new hardware, software and services to our Linux portfolio for the telecommunications market to enable NEPs, Service Providers and ISVs to quickly launch new services while cutting the cost of their Network Infrastructure."

The Carrier Grade Open Framework (CGOF) Reference Implementation is available through IBM Global Services. The offering includes hardware, software and a set of utilities, tools and documents to allow rapid technology deployment of high availability solutions.(1)

With today's announcement, IBM has specifically targeted three of the key factors that challenge today's Telecom service providers -- how to combat the increasing costs of network operation; how to decrease the complexity of introducing change into a network infrastructure; and how to reduce the cycle time of implementing new packet-based services to meet growing customer demand.

Leading Network Equipment Providers (NEPs) and IBM business partners such as Cirpack, jNETx, Lucent, Snowshore, Sylantro, and Ubiquity have been involved in pilot programs to test the IBM Carrier Grade Open Framework and its Reference Implementation.(2)

"Lucent continues to be in favor of open systems, especially as they enable third party software vendors to develop and offer new, value-added IP applications for the service provider market," said Dave Ayers, vice president, Supply Chain Networks, Lucent Technologies. "Lucent has a long history in this area, and we look forward to working with many partners, including IBM, on supporting open systems in the future."

Today's announcement is another example of how IBM is delivering standards-based solutions tailored to the telecommunication market. The goal of these specialized solutions is to help improve customer choice, flexibility, interoperability and return on investment while helping decrease risk.

IBM intends to further its commitment to the telecommunications industry with the introduction of a modular, CGOF compliant product offering -- the IBM eServer Integrated Platform for Telecommunications (IPT) in 2004. The IPT offering will include a variety of IBM eServer systems including BladeCenter™ and the new BladeCenter T™, which will also be available later this year. IBM also plans to offer expanded software solutions including IBM Director for systems management, IBM middleware and services that address both the NGN and Telecommunications back office requirements support for Linux with OSDL specified Carrier Grade Linux features.

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