Ericsson will be using IP technology in the majority of its products within two years, according to the company's chief executive.
Internet technology is being used in a range of new Ericsson products, announced on Monday at a customer event in London, including voice telephony, integrated messaging and call centres.
Ericsson is strongly committed to IP technology in its new and future products, the company's CEO Sven-Christer Nilsson said, and Ericsson will be helping its existing customers integrate IP technology into their existing telephone networks.
As part of its revamped strategy, Ericsson "will combine its unique position in wireless and carrier class [products] with a strong commitment to the Internet and IP technology", Nilsson said.
By 2000, the lion's share of Ericsson's products will have IP embedded, said Nilsson. Moreover, by 2001, he expects 50-80 per cent of the company's products to have IP content.
IP and the Internet are already influencing most Ericsson products, said Nilsson, but Internet technology "must be enhanced to provide the robust environment that customers are used to in carrier class operations".
Ericsson will be working with its corporate PBX telephone exchange customers to migrate them to Internet based applications, but only where the customer feels it is right, according to Paul Collindge, business development director for Ericsson's enterprise solutions division in the Emea region.
"We have a very large installed base of PBX in very large corporations around the world and a big base in smaller companies. It is important for them and Ericsson to bring into the new world as well - in a sensible way - taking advantage of the Internet when it is right to do so," said Collinge.
The Swedish company launched 14 new products for businesses, as well as new services packages and product upgrades, many of which reflect Ericsson's enthusiasm for IP technology.
Included in Ericsson's IP products is a wireless phone system that connects workers with cordless and fixed telephones via the company's IP networks. The system converts voice traffic to IP packets and transports them using the customer's existing data network.
Another product is Onebox, a unified messaging system that allows users to listen to their voicemail and email via a phone. Onebox uses text-to-speech conversion technology to provide audio access to email. Ericsson has developed a Web browser based management facility for its Windows NT PC/server based wireless telephone switch.
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