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Equipment Vendors Join Forces with Next-Generation Service Providers to Accelerate Development of ATM-Based Local Networks.

ATLANTA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--June 9, 1999--

ATM Local Telephony Alliance to Spur Use of Data-Based Technology

A group of next-generation service providers and telecommunications equipment vendors announced today at SUPERCOMM the formation of the ATM Local Telephony Alliance (ALTA), an industry consortium whose mission is to promote hardware and software solutions for local networks by using ATM, or Asynchronous Transfer Mode, as the next-generation "data-based telephony" technology.

ATM enables multiple types of telecommunications information -- voice, data or video -- to be transferred in small, uniformly-sized cells. An ATM network architecture uses switches to establish an end-to-end connection, which guarantees a quality of service for voice and data transmission equal to that of a traditional phone call. By bringing together next-generation service providers and equipment vendors to leverage the exciting capabilities of ATM, ALTA is committed to developing cost-effective, fully integrated local exchange networks using ATM to deliver voice and data services.

"Developing new architectures and business models enables carriers to provide customers with fully integrated packages including services such as voice, Internet access and unified messaging all served on the same access line," said Paula Reinman, vice president of consulting at TeleChoice, a market strategy consultancy for the telecommunications industry. "ALTA is a next step in achieving convergence around this type of ATM-based architecture, allowing carriers and vendors to join together in the development of a next generation local telephony architecture."

The Alliance members created ALTA to promote the convergence of voice and data at the customer edge of the local network and at the interconnection with the PSTN. By promoting ATM as the next-generation data-based telephony technology for the local exchange, ALTA will encourage:

-- Vendors to design solutions -- transport, adaptation,

gateway and aggregation equipment and management

systems -- for next-generation ATM local exchange networks;

-- Carriers to promote ATM technology in the local loop;

-- ALTA members to provide information to trade groups such as

ALTS, Comptel, USTA and TIA.

"Since the deregulation of the telecommunications industry, carriers have been talking about introducing new services, but they have never moved beyond the traditional commodity offerings. Through an ATM-based network, advanced applications become possible," said Mike Viren, chairman and co-founder of 2nd Century Communications, an ATM-based CLEC headquartered in Tampa, Fla. "Before these new services can be deployed; however, carriers and vendors need to cooperate in the development of interface specifications that allow for equipment interoperability. ALTA exists to support the interoperability testing and proof of concept between vendors that are critical to the success of the carrier and provide continued quality for the customer."

ALTA members will test their systems' interoperability and then communicate their successes via the organization's Web site at

The first interoperability test will be 2nd Century's interconnection with the PSTN using the core gateway switch from Convergent Networks (ICS-2000), the ATM access concentrator/IAD from Advanced Switching Communications (RBOX-1000 & 2000) and VINA Technologies' communication server (Multiservice Exchange). Other ALTA tests including Mariposa Technology, Unisphere Solutions, Inc. and Woodwind Communications will follow.

ALTA membership is open to any service provider or equipment vendor that supports the architectural objectives of the forum, including ATM switch manufacturers, ATM IAD manufacturers, ATM concentrator manufacturers and ATM-based carriers. Representatives from all participating companies have formed an interim steering committee that will work toward accomplishing ALTA's goals and objectives.

About ALTA's Members

-- 2nd Century Communications is an ATM-based local exchange carrier

offering small and medium-sized businesses a complete,

cost-effective solution, including dedicated, high-speed Internet

access, e-mail, Web hosting and local and long-distance services.

2nd Century can be found on the Internet at

-- Advanced Switching Communications (ASC), winner of both the "Top

25 Hot Startups" and "1999 Hot Products" awards recently cited by

Data Communications, is a privately held communications-equipment

company in Vienna, Va. ASC recently introduced the RBOX family, a

new generation of cost-effective and innovative Multi-Service

Aggregator designed for carriers and service providers. ASC is

headed by a management team from high-technology industry leaders

including 3Com, Ascend, IBM, and Lucent. ASC's Web site is

-- Convergent Networks, a privately-held company based in Tewksbury,

Mass., helps next-generation and incumbent carriers address

current voice-service delivery challenges and accelerate the

introduction of innovative, high-margin integrated services.

Convergent Networks' Web site is

-- Mariposa Technology is a provider of integrated access devices

that converge "business quality" voice, video and data services

for carrier services and for enterprise, government and

educational organizations worldwide. Mariposa is backed by

Ericsson and comprised of former Nortel voice, GDC and Newbridge

signaling and Cisco data talent. For more information, please

visit Mariposa Technology on the web at,

send an email to or call (707) 766-9463.

-- VINA Technologies provides advanced integrated access solutions

at the network edge. Marketed to service providers and

distributors, VINA's multiservice product families offer compact,

flexible devices, which provide true voice/data convergence in

TDM and ATM-based networks. VINA's web site is

-- Woodwind Communications Systems, Inc., is a privately-held

communications equipment supplier solving the challenges faced by

providers of advanced, integrated communications services for the

small office marketplace by providing Service Intelligent

multiservice access systems. Additional information on Woodwind

Communications is available on the Internet at

About ALTA

The ATM Local Telephony Alliance (ALTA) was founded in June 1999 by a group of next-generation service providers and telecommunications equipment vendors as an industry forum to accelerate the development and deployment of next-generation ATM-based competitive local exchange networks. By promoting ATM as the next-generation "data-based telephony" technology in the local exchange, the alliance is committed to the development of cost-effective, fully integrated local exchange networks using ATM for voice and data services. For more information, contact Melissa Martin at 813-935-8866, ext. 228, or visit the ALTA Web site at

EDITOR'S NOTE: A press conference is scheduled for Wednesday, June 9, at 12:30 p.m. EDT in Room 306E at SUPERCOMM to formally introduce ALTA and its objectives. Executives available for interview include:

-- Mike Viren, chairman and co-founder of 2nd Century Communications -- Asghar Mostafa, chairman, president and CEO, Advanced Switching

Communications (ASC) -- Karl May, president and CEO, Convergent Networks --

John Osanitsch, executive vice president, Business Development,

Mariposa Technology -- Joe Marmion, vice president, Broadband and Internet Technologies,

Unisphere Solutions, Inc. -- Josh W. Soske, president, founder, VINA Technologies -- Fraser Seymour, president and CEO, Woodwind Communications

For additional information or to set up a separate interview, please contact Jody Oaks at (703) 248-7216.
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Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 9, 1999
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