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3Com and PictureTel Extend Their Partnership in Multimedia Computing with the New Superstack II Desktop Switching/PictureTel LiveLAN Bundle

Affordable video conferencing to the desktop for production networks with the

SuperStack II Desktop Switch and the PictureTel LiveLAN Starter Kit

SANTA CLARA, Calif. and ANDOVER, Mass, Nov. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- 3Com Corporation (Nasdaq: COMS) and PictureTel Corporation (Nasdaq: PCTL) have strengthened their strategic partnership by providing a new solutions bundle to deliver affordable multimedia computing services to the desktop. 3Com will offer customers a special bundle promotion featuring four of its new, SuperStack(TM) II Desktop Switch products which deliver bandwidth boost to support a full range of LAN services including multimedia or intranet applications at the industry's lowest price of $120 per port. Also included in the bundle is a SuperStack II Switch 3000 TX Fast Ethernet product, plus a PictureTel LiveLAN(TM) starter kit (Release 2.0) valued at $2,795 at no additional cost. The LiveLAN starter kit incorporates two desktop units to help users introduce video conferencing technology to their network. The total price of this desktop switching bundle which provides up to 108 users with dedicated 10 Mbps bandwidth is just $18,375.

The offer builds on 3Com's existing partnership with PictureTel to provide a product bundle of 3Com network interface cards with PictureTel's LAN-based video conferencing software and low-cost upgrades to full videoconferencing. 3Com's EtherLink III and Fast EtherLink PCI network interface cards are a natural platform for advanced, high-bandwidth applications; when combined with PictureTel's conferencing technology, they allow for high-quality LAN data and video conferencing over shared Ethernet, switched Ethernet, and Fast Ethernet networks. In addition the embedded cooperation between 3Com network interface cards and switches enabled by PACE(TM) technology and desktop configured VLANs ensures optimized support of video traffic.

"3Com pioneered the drive towards switching to the desktop with the new SuperStack II Desktop Switch, unlocking the power and performance of intranets and multimedia computing. By combining 3Com's strengths in building high performance workgroup solutions with the special expertise of PictureTel, the industry's leading LAN conferencing specialist, we're now extending our leadership in this area. Together, 3Com and PictureTel can meet the growing demand for LAN conferencing technology by delivering powerful, high-bandwidth solutions for production networks." commented Edgar Masri, vice president and general manager of 3Com's Premises Distribution Division.

"The powerful combination of 3Com's leadership in the workgroup switching market with our own expertise in videoconferencing makes this an excellent opportunity to bring the business benefits of LAN videoconferencing to an even wider audience. With the new 3Com/PictureTel bundle, MIS Managers responsible for networks of all sizes have a highly effective and affordable way to bring videoconferencing to their organization," said David Andonian, vice president of PictureTel's Personal Systems Division.

Launched in October, 3Com's new SuperStack II Desktop Switch, scales network performance to provide an immediate bandwidth boost while helping customers to protect their existing desktop investment within the security and familiarity of the Ethernet environment. It incorporates 3Com's key PACE(TM) technology to offer high quality real-time multimedia support on standard Ethernet connections. PACE is the only technology available today that eliminates repetitive collisions on switched Ethernet connections, and ensures fair access for both ends of the wire by removing Ethernet's "Capture Effect". In addition to minimizing both latency and jitter throughout the switched LAN infrastructure, PACE also allows for prioritization of important multi-media traffic over standard file transfer and e-mail traffic. PACE technology makes multimedia LAN-based applications viable for today's Ethernet-attached PCs, without requiring the upheaval of a complete technology change.

The Desktop Switch also includes embedded RMON on every port, is fully manageable using 3Com's Transcend(R) Network management software, and incorporates technology enhancements such as AutoSelect VLAN support and LAN security. A plug-and-play Ethernet solution, the SuperStack II Desktop Switch requires no changes to be made to the desktop, PCs, NICs, cabling, drivers or PC configurations and end stations retain their Ethernet connections.

PictureTel's LiveLAN 2.0 is part of PictureTel's LAN-based H.323 standards- ready family of products that provide video conferencing over an enterprise local area network (LAN), intranet and the Internet. By operating on top of existing protocols (IPX,IP), LiveLAN packets can be routed without any modifications to existing LAN/Intranet infrastructures. Also included in the LiveLAN starter kit is LiveManager(TM), which monitors and manages the amount of bandwidth allocated for LiveLAN calls throughout a network on a segment by segment basis.

The new 3Com/PictureTel bundle (part number 3P16902PVC) is available only in the USA from now until February 18, 1997. As part of this promotion customers will be offered, by PictureTel, upgrades from LiveLAN 2.0 to LiveLAN 3.0 (available the end of Q1 1997) for a price of only $595.00.

3Com Corporation has helped more than 36 million people gain access to critical information through high speed networks. Designed to serve large enterprises, service providers, small offices and homes, 3Com products provide a scalable architecture to meet the immediate and long term connectivity needs of today's user. With research and development on three continents, 3Com is one of the data networking industry's largest and fastest growing companies. The company's innovative marketing, engineering, sales and support simplify communication, optimize network reliability and protect customer investments. For further information, visit 3Com's World Wide Web site at http://www.3Com.com or call 1-800-NET-3COM.

PictureTel Corporation is the world leader in developing, manufacturing and marketing a full range of visual communications solutions. The company's products serve videoconferencing needs from the desktop to the boardroom. PictureTel also markets network conferencing products and a comprehensive portfolio of enterprise-wide services. Additional PictureTel information is available on the Internet at www.picturetel.com. PictureTel videoconferencing eliminates the barrier of distance, enabling people to be Anywhere Now(TM).

NOTE: PictureTel is a registered trademark of PictureTel Corporation. LiveLAN, LiveManager and Anywhere Now are trademarks of PictureTel Corporation.

3Com, and Transcend are registered trademarks and SuperStack and PACE are trademarks of 3Com Corporation. All other names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.

SOURCE PictureTel Corporation
 -0- 11/25/96


/CONTACT: Julia Kisch of 3Com Public Relations, 44-0-1442-278273 or julia_kisch@3mail.3com.com, or Kevin Flanagan of PictureTel Corporation, 508-292-5178 or flanagank@pictel.com, or Eric Eddy of The Weber Group, Inc., 617-520-7025 or eeddy@webergroup.com, or Diane Parazin of Copithorne & Bellows, 617-450-4300 or diane.parazin@cbpr.com/

(PCTL COMS)

CO: PictureTel Corporation; 3Com Corporation ST: Massachusetts, California IN: CPR SU: PDT

LZ -- NEM032 -- 3760 11/25/96 12:51 EST http://www.prnewswire.com
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Date:Nov 25, 1996
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