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IMTC to Launch H.323 Forum at May Spring Forum in Geneva

IMTC Provides Leadership for H.323 in Multi-protocol Networks

San Ramon, CA - April 22, 2002 - The International Multimedia Telecommunications Consortium, Inc. (IMTC), a non-profit organization focused on making rich media communications happen anywhere and any time, today announced plans to launch a H.323 Forum during the IMTC/Wainhouse Research Spring Forum May 14-16, 2002 in Geneva, Switzerland. This development will positively leverage IMTC's long-standing leadership in the IP communications industry globally and provide the H.323 community with a proactive and visible presence as ITU-T Recommendation H.323 continues to gain deployment momentum globally.

ITU-T Rec. H.323 is an approved ITU-T standard for voice, data, and video communications on Internet Protocol (IP) networks. Initially ratified by ITU-T in 1995, with significant support and contributions by IMTC members, H.323 is now the protocol of choice for many enterprise and wide area communications applications, particularly those that incorporate video. In the current economic and social climate, which emphasizes the need for rich media communication between people located in different continents and time zones, H.323 provides a comprehensive, stable and trusted enabling protocol. Accordingly, the IMTC H.323 Forum will build on these market successes, focusing on programs to accelerate applications on existing H.323 networks, evolution to newer H.323 versions and coexistence with other protocols such as SIP.

"The IMTC is pleased to launch this important initiative", stated Istvan Sebestyen, President of the IMTC and Chief Engineer, Head of Department, Standardization Multimedia & Applications at Siemens AG. "It reinforces our historical commitment to interoperability, rich media solutions and open standards, and to motivating the use of products and services based on these principles. The goals of IMTC and the H.323 Forum are completely aligned and our programs will provide the deployment-proof points the market is looking for."

Initially, the H.323 Forum will concentrate on three major deliverables: (1) network interoperability / certification requirements, (2) a forum website providing protocol, equipment, and application information and, (3) conferences, both video-based and in-person, to identify and resolve business, product and technical issues.

"Networks comprising H.323 voice/video products have been deployed for several years and have grown very large, carrying a majority of Voice Over IP minutes and a growing number of Video Over IP minutes," said Larry Schessel, Senior Manager of Product Marketing at Cisco. "It is important that we document successes and put in place procedures to help the industry progress. Evolving networks to better standards is key to market success. The H.323 Forum will provide the necessary leadership through the IMTC."

"We are delighted at the creation of the H.323 Forum. It will provide ITU-T with valuable feedback from the users of our Recommendations," said Pierre-André Probst, Chairman of ITU-T Study Group 16, the Study Group responsible for H.323. "The work on interoperability is also going to be a strong stimulus to the deployment of H.323 based systems."

The H.323 Forum will be introduced at this year's IMTC/Wainhouse Research Spring Forum May 14-16, 2002 in Geneva, Switzerland. IMTC and Wainhouse Research are joining forces for the first IMTC/Wainhouse Research Spring Forum 2002. The Spring Forum is a three-day conference addressing the compelling communication advantages of rich media collaboration. For registration details visit the IMTC web site at http://www.imtc.org.

About the IMTC
The IMTC is an industry-leading, non-profit organization whose mission is to promote, encourage, and facilitate the development and implementation of interoperable rich media solutions based on open international standards anytime, anywhere. In addition to developing technical recommendations for formal and de facto standards, the IMTC hosts rich media interoperability testing events and demonstrations throughout the world. Over the past three years, the IMTC has hosted more than 60 interoperability events to test T.120, H.320, H.323, H.324, SIP and Voice over IP products, and services for compatibility with each other. The IMTC Board of Directors includes representatives from Avaya, Cisco Systems, Forgent Networks, France Telecom, Intel, KPN Telecom, Nokia, Polycom, RADVISION, Ridgeway, Siemens AG, Sony, TANDBERG, Telverse, and WorldCom. The San Ramon, California-based consortium comprises approximately 100 member organizations from around the globe. Membership is open to any interested party, including vendors of audio, document, and video conferencing hardware and software; communications companies; teleconferencing service providers; end users; academic institutions; government agencies; and non-profit organizations. "The IMTC is making Rich Media happen Anywhere, Anytime." The consortium's Web site address is http://www.imtc.org.

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