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Conferencing is chance for telecom growth

Geneva industry meeting opens with optimistic outlook - New technologies offer new opportunities - H.323 Forum joins IMTC Spring Forum

Geneva, May 16, 2002 - The International Multimedia Telecommunication Consortium (IMTC) opened its May Spring Forum today in Geneva with an optimistic outlook to the future. As Dr. Istvan Sebestyen, President of the IMTC and Chief Engineer, Standardization Multimedia & Applications at Siemens AG, Munich, pointed out at this occasion, teleconferencing could provide the boost to the telecom industry long hoped for. " In the current situation with widely saturated markets, the increasing use of conferencing techniques via the internet, mobile and traditional communications networks appears to be the one of the few remaining sector where we witness steady growth," he said. Especially since the events of September 11, conferencing has substituted personal meetings on a large scale. Based on this experience, many companies have shown that conferencing is not only a faster and safer but also a cheaper way of communication, Dr. Sebestyen added.

This view was supported by Andrew Davis from the conference-co-organizer Wainhouse Research, who in his opening address to the 100 participants from industry and academia pointed out that the investment needed to build up the infrastructure for teleconferencing can easily be recouped within a year, even by small and medium sized companies. "In fact, we expect much higher benefits in the near future, since teleconferencing is not just meetings anymore," he added. " It is corporate communications, E-commerce, customer support, recruiting, distance learning and training, news and knowledge transfer and project management."

The IMTC/ Wainhouse Research Spring Forum 2002 has brought together telecommunications experts from all over the world. The meeting that was opened today at the International Conference Center in Geneva is scheduled to last until May 16. The IMTC/Wainhouse Spring Forum 2002 will highlight key issues such as IPv6 (the future addressing system on the Internet, which will provide virtually unlimited Internet address-space, currently a scarce resource), mobile IP, QoS (Quality of service on the Internet, which originally was not designed for real-time multimedia applications), SIP (a more "Internet-like" new protocol expected to support multimedia applications), security data collaboration, device level interoperability and manageability. It will include standard updates, technical reviews of emerging technologies and brainstorming sessions. The meeting is being led by recognized leaders of industry and academia who have a shared interest in the success and advancement of multimedia telecommunications.

A special feature of the meeting is the launch of the H.323 Forum. The ITU-T Recommendation H.323 is an approved standard for voice, data, and video communications on Internet Protocol (IP)networks, which are expected to be the network standard replacing ISDN. Through this intensified cooperation, the H.323 Forum and IMTC expect to speed up and further the development of new multimedia applications.

About the IMTC
The International Multimedia Telecommunications Consortium (IMTC) is an industry-leading non-profit organization whose mission is to promote, encourage, and facilitate the development and implementation of interoperable multimedia conferencing solutions based on open international standards. The IMTC hosts interoperability testing events and demonstrations throughout the world. Over the past three years. The IMTC has hosted more than 60 interoperability testing events to test, PSS, H .320, H.323, H.324, SIP, T.120,and Voice over IP products and services with each other. The IMTC Board of Directors includes representatives from Avaya, Cisco Systems, Forgent Network, France Telecom, Intel, KPN Telecom, Nokia, Polycom, RADVISION, Ridgeway, Siemens AG, Sony, TANDBERG, Telverse, and WorldCom. The San Ramon, California -based consortium comprises more close to 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; academic institutions; government agencies; and non-profit organizations. The consortium's Web site address is http://www.imtc.org.

About Wainhouse Research
Wainhouse Research is a leading independent market research firm focusing on critical issues in the multimedia communications, videoconferencing, teleconferencing and streaming media field. The company conducts multi-client as well as customs research for industry vendors, consults with end users on key implementation issues, publishes a news bulletin, white papers, and market statistics, and delivers public and private seminars as well as speaker presentations at industry group meetings.

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