IP based voice and data carrier, iBasis, plans to install Cisco's Unified Communications (UC) system in its global infrastructure, which it uses to host network services for carriers around the world.
The move represents an important milestone for Cisco in its bid to enter the carrier market from its traditional business base.
iBasis carries Internet traffic for Internet service providers and tier-one operators such as MCI WorldCom. The carrier is one of Cisco's 21 global accounts and its network is the largest of the so-called Cisco Powered Networks for Internet telephony.
Cisco's UC platform integrates email systems, fax machines, voice mail systems and mobile phones over the Internet so that end users can access all of the services from a single device.
Despite the networking giant's lack of experience in the carrier sector, an iBasis spokesman said interested carriers and service providers have already made the strategic decision to embrace IP, a technology which Cisco specialises in.
"Cisco's UC platform means IP based telephony now fulfils more of its promise and makes voice another Web application," he said.
iBasis will begin deploying UC in the second quarter of this year and has already secured orders for 50,000 UC uOne mailboxes from customers such as US based Effectnet.
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