Lucent has gathered third-party support to help push its Intelligent Network (IN) services into the telecoms industry.
Under an initiative called Intelligent Alliance, which is aimed at fixed wire and mobile communications providers, the telecoms equipment giant will initially work with three IN specialists. IN software is installed on carriers' switches to enable them to offer services such as toll-free numbers and calling cards.
Curtis Holmes, IN vice president for Lucent's communications software group, said: "We've been working with the partners on a third-party application development basis. This programme will provide a supportive framework for us to expand the number of applications that network providers can implement."
The first three companies to sign up to the Intelligent Alliance scheme are AG Communications Systems, developer of the Calling Party Pays software for wireless carriers; Signal Soft, which markets equipment to enable mobile operators to offer services such as safety, billing, and tracking; and Telecommunications Systems, which provides software and system integration services.
The market for IN is booming, particularly in Europe where new entrants are jostling for market share among the established giants.
According to industry analysts, the sector is expected to reach a peak of $300 million (#185 million) this year from $175 million (#108 million) in 1996.
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