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3Com, Siemens to Provide Telephony Over LANs

3Com Corp. (www.3com.com) and Siemens AG (www.siemens.com) today announced their plans to form a joint venture to develop local area network (LAN) telephony and multimedia products for businesses building and operating their data and voice communications networks.

Through the new joint venture, the two companies expect to deliver products in 1999 that will enable businesses to run voice, video and data calls over their LANs -- lowering their overall telecommunications costs and paving the way for new converged multimedia business applications. The companies are already working on joint development projects and intend to commence operation of the joint venture upon completion of definitive agreements early next year.

Expected products include a range of multimedia exchanges for voice and data, LAN telephony gateways and Ethernet phones and adapters packaged and priced to meet the needs of small, medium and very large corporations. Initial applications for these products include voice-enhanced PC collaboration and conferencing, call centers for Internet-based retailers, and customer service help desks for a variety of industries, such as financial services, consumer product manufacturing, healthcare, government and education.

Products developed by the joint venture will be branded as the Siemens HiNet product line and the 3Com SuperStack II and CoreBuilder product lines. The products will be sold by Siemens, 3Com and both parties' respective distribution partners.

Siemens and 3Com will co-own the joint venture, which will have its headquarters in the United States, have its own staff and management, and development teams in California, Massachusetts, Germany, Israel and the United Kingdom. The joint venture management will report to a board of directors equally comprised of Siemens and 3Com executives. The initial staff will include more than 200 engineers from the parent companies, many of who are already experienced in developing converged network products. --Brian Ploskina, Assistant Editor

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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