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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: France, 4 April 2000

Deepak Kamlani
IMTC, Managing Secretariet

Florence Pontieux,
ETSI Press Officer, France
Tel: +33 (0)4 92 94 43 12
Fax: +33 (0)4 92 38 49 32

Beverley Wing,
Kingston Public Relations, UK
Tel: +44 (0)1482 352255
Fax: +44 (0)1482 352588

ETSI and IMTC strengthen their cooperation on open international standards for global interoperable IP Telephony products and services

IMTC iNOW and aHIT activity groups provide forum for further joint ETSI and IMTC interoperability initiatives

Sophia Antipolis - France, 4 April 2000,

The European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) and the International Multimedia Telecommunications Consortium (IMTC) announce the enhancement of their co-operation agreement, designed to facilitate the technological developments needed to enable Voice over IP networks to interwork with Switched Circuit Networks. Since 1997, the two organizations have worked together on joint interoperability testing, cooperative development of test specifications, and sharing information and resources.

Achieving interoperability across multiple administrative domains is a major objective of ETSI/IMTC cooperation. ETSI and IMTC have independently, and together, sponsored a number of engineering test events around the world to help assure that commercially deployed Voice over IP products and services achieve the goal of global interoperability.

Mr Helmut Schink, Chairman of the ETSI Project TIPHON (Telecommunications and Internet Protocol Harmonization Over Networks) comments:
'ETSI Project TIPHON, involved in the development of IP Telephony standards, is extremely supportive of the ETSI/IMTC co-operation agreement. Since ETSI and IMTC signed the original agreement, they have enjoyed much success. All of our jointly hosted Interoperability Events help the industry benefit from testing and faster developments, and facilitates market adoption of IP telephony.'

The establishment of the IMTC iNOW! (Interoperability NOW) and aHIT! (Applications on Harmonized Interoperable IP Telephony) Activity Groups paves the way for stronger worldwide cooperation between ETSI and IMTC in the rapidly growing IP telephony service area.

Matt Collier, President of the IMTC, states:
'"The IMTC is very excited to be working with Standards groups like ETSI TIPHON where IMTC participation helps create and further enhance the standards for IP telephony services. With the creation of iNOW! and aHIT! the IMTC has provided a great forum where the industry can develop and conduct interoperability testing events and work together to develop an enhance the profiles used during these testing events."

The IMTC Activity Group aHIT! promotes and facilitates the deployment and implementation of seamless, reliable and secure interoperable IP Telephony and Multimedia applications across multiple networks. aHIT! serves the needs of customers worldwide utilizing international, open standards and technical specifications.

AG Chair, Ayse Dilber of AT&T Labs, states:
"Open international standards are crucial to the development of the interoperable VoIP and Multimedia markets worldwide, and to giving multinational customers confidence that they can conduct business anywhere in the world using systems that communicate with each other. Our cooperation with ETSI-TIPHON will expedite to achieve global VoIP and Multimedia interoperablity development, aHIT! AG looks forward to helping develop and test the technical interoperability requirements and applications that will be needed."

The IMTC iNOW! Activity Group, is a broad-based, industry initiative established to quickly provide IP telephony interoperability. INOW! has a goal of sharing revenue generating voice, fax and data traffic across all IMTC iNOW! compliant IP Telephony platforms and networks regardless of the brand of equipment.

Jim Yu, Chair of iNow! Activity Group, states:
"The IMTC iNOW! Activity Group provides equipment vendors and service providers with the blueprint for achieving real world, revenue generating interoperability today. The joint interoperability testing events between IMTC and ETSI Project TIPHON have provided the forums for vendors and carriers to come together and verify their IMTC iNOW! based implementations. The results of this successful cooperation are evident with the 1st public demonstration of IMTC iNOW! based vendor implementation in March, 2000, with many other vendor implementations to follow, and an announcement from a major VoIP carrier to commit to an IMTC iNOW! based network implementation by 3Q 2000."