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MFA Forum Completes Year-End Meeting With Significant Accomplishments; New Specifications Approved, New Members, New Board Members, at Year-End Meeting.

FREMONT, Calif. -- The MFA Forum (MFAF) announced today that members at the fourth-quarter meeting, held in Boston earlier this month, advanced a number of specifications ready for final vote, welcomed new member companies Adtran, Analog Devices, Calix Networks and Telcordia Technologies, and elected new members to the board of directors. Going to final ballot are specifications addressing ATM and Frame Relay to MPLS Control Plane Interworking: Client-Server and Use of Virtual Trunks for ATM/MPLS Control Plane Interworking, and High Speed Connections for ATM.

With the evolution of next-generation networks as a backdrop, the MFAF is enabling existing network services such as Frame Relay and ATM and emerging new services, including IP VPN, to operate over multi-service converged packet-switched networks (PSN). For smooth operation of these services, control protocols for routing and signaling must continue to work end-to-end from an existing network to a new PSN with minimal modification. The two Control Plane Interworking specifications define the control plane and protocol interworking procedures for ATM and Frame Relay connections across an IP/MPLS PSN using pseudo wires.

"Many service providers expect to continue to offer and deliver services across existing, dedicated Frame Relay and ATM networks," said Norman Kummer of Nortel and technical committee vice chair of the MFA Forum. "In the desire to reduce capital and operational expenditures, many of these same providers have embarked upon a strategy of convergence, where many per-service networks and their attendant technologies and services are migrated to a single IP/MPLS PSN."

The ATM Control Signaling group has approved for final ballot the High Speed Connections specification. This specification alleviates the current maximum signaled bandwidth of 7 Gbps per connection for ATM. This enables storage applications with ATM core networks to make full use of current 10 Gbps core ATM networks, scaling to terabit connections in the future.

Newly Elected Board of Directors

The MFAF also attracted major companies to its board, with newly elected directors Michael Buttery of Sprint and Lily Lu of Cisco Systems. Bernard da Costa of Bell Canada, Doug O'Leary of Verizon, and Tom Walsh of Lucent Technologies were re-elected to the board of directors. O'Leary remains in his position as treasurer, and Walsh continues as vice-chairman.

"We are pleased to have additional companies represented on the board," said Tom Walsh of Lucent Technologies, and vice-chairman of the MFA Forum. "The continued support of both service providers and vendors is important to the MFA Forum, and the board will benefit from the expertise of the two new individuals."

The MFAF also concluded its year of industry activities with a successful joint event with Cisco Systems on next-generation networks, which attracted attendees from service provider, vendor, and analyst organizations.

About the MFA Forum

The MFA Forum is an international, industry-wide, nonprofit association of service providers, equipment vendors and enterprise users. The focus of the Forum is to advance the deployment of multi-vendor, multi-service packet-based networks, associated applications, and interworking solutions for telecommunications and networking. The Forum is driving the convergence of ATM, Frame Relay and IP/MPLS technologies in the global telecom industry through interoperability initiatives, implementation agreements, and educational and marketing resources and programs. The Forum currently has more than 60 members. For Forum membership information please contact Alexa Morris, executive director, at (510) 608-5914 or via e-mail at Additional information about The MFA Forum is available online at
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Nov 29, 2005
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