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Network Access Product Designed for Wide-Scale Deployment of Broadband IP
Services


Industry's First IP Multi-Service Unit Increases Revenue Potential for
Service Providers


January 31, 2001-Natural MicroSystems (NASDAQ: NMSS), the technology
leader enabling a new era of communications, today announced a new version
of its award-winning PolicyPoint product, which now becomes the
industry's first "IP Multi-Service Unit" (IP MSU)-expressly designed and
priced for network service providers looking for immediate revenue from IP
services as well as faster implementation of a converged, multiservice
Internet Protocol (IP) infrastructure. PolicyPoint extends tiered classes
of IP service and application-specific QoS to business customer premises.

This version of NMS' PolicyPoint IP traffic management system and
multiservice access platform introduces significant new features that
deliver IP MSU capabilities. An IP MSU is an intelligent, customer
premises equipment (CPE) device that monitors and shapes traffic at the
boundary between the enterprise LAN and a network service provider's WAN.
By extending traffic shaping, traffic classification and bandwidth
management to business customers' premises, the service provider-managed
IP MSU enables tiered classes of service (CoS) with application-specific
quality of service (QoS) for voice over IP (VoIP), virtual private network
(VPN) over IP, Internet access and other broadband offerings.
Delay-sensitive voice, data and video IP traffic receive the proper
handling to meet service level agreement (SLA) metrics-while gaining the
considerable cost and efficiency advantages of a converged, single
connection over the service provider's local loop.

Priced as much as 40% less than comparable products, Version 1.1 of the
PolicyPoint platform includes these added capabilities:

· 100Mb/second wire speed classification with zero packet loss-This
traffic classification feature allows high-quality voice, data and video
to be delivered to users, without the packet-loss performance penalties
associated with earlier generations of network access devices.

· Enhanced IP statistics for management of IP flows-Service providers
require the ability to monitor and report for usage, billing and remote
management. This new PolicyPoint feature creates an opportunity for
providers to effectively manage remote locations, IP performance and IP
bandwidth allocations.

· Zero packet discard for protected flows-Not only can real-time
applications be protected from random packet discards that would otherwise
degrade performance, but it is also possible to specify conventional "best
effort" IP transmission for services and traffic types that can tolerate
latency.

· Improved reporting for OSS management platforms-Enhanced metering and
alarming allows PolicyPoint to work with operations support system (OSS)
management platforms service providers are already using.

IP MSU Fills Gap, Enables High-Quality Broadband Services
Incorporating essential capabilities required to provision, bill for and
manage IP services, the PolicyPoint platform provides an important
infrastructure link that lets service providers fulfill enterprise
customers' demands for a range of increasingly popular broadband IP
services. In one notable growth category, VPNs, Infonetics Research
predicts organizations worldwide will spend nearly $40 billion for such
products and services in 2004.

Brian Strachman, senior analyst for Data and Voice Communications Services
at Cahners In-Stat Group, commented, "The market has been waiting for a
solution like the PolicyPoint IP multiservice unit. To move converged
IP-based voice and data services from a promising vision to a profitable
reality, service providers need the technology to prioritize critical
traffic and effectively manage bandwidth for reliable performance. IP
multiservice units enter as an entirely new category of product that
bridges a crucial gap: enforcing IP class of service and quality of
service where the service provider network meets the enterprise."

The first product of its kind, NMS' PolicyPoint is marketed to
communications equipment suppliers and systems integrators creating
equipment for network service providers such as telecommunications
carriers, Internet service providers (ISPs) and application service
providers (ASPs). Traditional network access products are not geared to
handle voice, data and video flows efficiently on a single connection,
because these devices are not built to classify multiple flows, shape
traffic and/or measure IP service levels beyond the provider's core or
backbone network.

With the PolicyPoint IP MSU, not only are service providers able to
deliver tiered service quality that extends from end-to-end of the
network, but they can also finely control performance on a per-user and
per-application basis. In contrast, conventional access products supply
just relative QoS at the customer premises -not absolute QoS-because they
are built to classify only data streams (TCP flows) instead of converged
IP voice and data traffic (UDP and TCP).

Link to Expanded Revenue Potential

"The future revenues for the new IP service operators will come from
networks mixing voice over IP and value-added data services; new
technologies for QoS over the local loop are a must to guarantee the
fulfillment of SLAs offered to customers," said Miguel Castillo, Manager
of R&D of OLA Internet, Spanish telecom operator. "NMS' PolicyPoint
represents a new category of solution our industry requires to provision
differentiated classes of IP service to enterprise customers."

"The existing generation of network access devices, including routers and
integrated access devices (IADs), was not conceived to handle full
convergence of voice, data and video in a broadband IP environment," said
Charlie Walker, vice president and general manager of NMS' IP Services
Management business. "Great strides have been made to increase
capabilities and add mechanisms to protect CoS and QoS inside the network
core, but that drops sharply into 'best effort' at the local loop because
bandwidth gets expensive and existing tools become less effective there.
Solutions that use PolicyPoint will help network service providers raise
customer confidence in the quality of converged IP services, and to reap
the rewards of that transformation."

About Natural MicroSystems

Natural MicroSystems (NASDAQ: NMSS) is the technology leader making it
possible for the world's top networking and communication equipment
suppliers to create and accelerate communications infrastructure and
services. The Framingham, MA company designs, develops and supplies
network-quality hardware and software components and provides design and
customization services that are enabling a new era of communications.
Deployed in more than 65 countries, NMS' products and technologies are at
the foundation of today's high-value communications systems, including
network-based enhanced service platforms, media and access gateways, media
servers, voice portals, web-enabled call centers, unified messaging
platforms and wireless networks. NMS has a long history of technology
innovations that advance the rapid growth of the communications industry
worldwide, including breakthroughs such as the first complete open IP
gateway, the first complete open packet media server and leadership in
bringing open, scalable CompactPCI to the telecommunications industry.
More information about NMS is available at http://www.nmss.com


and more
information about PolicyPoint is available at
http://www.nmss.com/nmss/nmssweb.nsf/pages/IPServicesManagem...


Natural MicroSystems and PolicyPoint are trademarks of Natural
MicroSystems Corporation. All other company or product names mentioned may
be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.

For further information please contact:

Kim Polley/ Tracey Farrant

Brodeur Worldwide

Tel: 01753 790700

Email: kpolley/ tfarrant@uk.brodeur.com

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