A new consortium of telecommunications companies hopes to boost compatibility and interoperability between traditional telephone networks and Internet protocol (IP) networks by creating and promoting open standards for IP distributed network architecture.
Cisco Systems, Hewlett-Packard, Lucent Technologies, and Nortel Networks are among the founding members of the International Softswitch Consortium. In a release issued last week, founders compared today's telecom market shift towards IP networks to the shift from mainframes to distributed client-server systems.
The consortium will promote open standards and application development for hardware and software platforms that can link traditional telephone networks with information and applications currently available only on the Internet, the group said in a release. The technologies needed to link traditional and IP networks are known as softswitches, the consortium said.
Greater use of softswitches will help network operators provide traditional and new services at lower costs, the consortium said.
The International Softswitch Consortium will operate as a non-profit corporation. Members will have access to an interoperability test lab, the consortium added.