Telecomms equipment supplier Ericsson has redesigned its family of switches to offer improved data and voice access.
The company is planning to ship three upgraded switching products in the third quarter of this year - Axe Local 6, aimed at fixed line providers; Base Station Controller (BSM) for the mobile market; and the new AXE Access 910, which allows operators to offer new services such as videoconferencing and Internet access.
Ericsson will intergrate ATM technology into its switches to improve data transfer, claiming that data traffic will overtake voice volumes in the not too distant future.
?The volume of data is increasing and in a couple of years it will eclipse voice traffic, so we have to optimise our technology for the future,? said Goran Olsson, vice president and general manager of switching for Ericsson.
Customers for the technology include BT, a third of whose network switches are made by Ericsson. BT recently announced it will spend #300 million on installing ATM into its broadband network to improve its Internet and data communication services.
A BT spokesman said: ?A proportion of the investment in data infrastructure will be going to Ericsson.?
John Matthews, principal consultant at consultancy Ovum, shares Ericsson?s optimism about the future of data traffic but believes it will have a hard battle against its rivals in this sector.
?There are a number of companies moving towards multi-function interfaces. Siemens has done something like this and possibly Alcatel, Lucent and Nortel,? he said. ?Within the corporate marketplace data is already at a 50:50 ratio with voice, so it is only a question of time before it takes the lead.?
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