Sun, Alcatel sign deal to work on core network gear

Alcatel SA will incorporate more technology from Sun Microsystems Inc. into its products for mobile phone networks, the companies announced Tuesday.

The products will reinforce Alcatel's mobile multimedia over IP (Internet Protocol) and VOIP (voice over IP) equipment range, the company said.

The French telecommunications equipment manufacturer already uses Sun's Netra servers in its call server products, and in a softswitch for VOIP traffic. Tuesday's deal extends this relationship to cover joint research and development work to improve those products.

In addition, Alcatel will use Sun servers in its core switching products for mobile phone networks, the companies said.

Alcatel will build future core mobile network equipment using servers that comply with the Advanced Telecom Computing Architecture (AdvancedTCA) specification developed by the PCI Industrial Computer Manufacturers Group, the company said back in February.

Initiatives like AdvancedTCA allow telecommunications equipment vendors to build their products at lower cost using open platforms and commodity hardware, where previously each equipment manufacturer developed its own proprietary hardware platforms.

Sun is developing an AdvancedTCA blade server platform, and the companies expect this and other aspects of the collaboration to make Alcatel's equipment more cost-effective in future, they said.

As a result of the collaboration, Sun sees itself well-placed to become the main platform partner and integrator for Alcatel's server-based core network products, it said.

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