NATURAL MICROSYSTEMS' FUSION 4.2 PACKS NEW FEATURES FOR BUILDING CORE NETWORK GATEWAYS Tuesday 20 March 2001 PDF Print Release Adds MGCP, CALEA Support, Linux Support and High-Density Universal Port Capacity; Reduces IP Bandwidth Requirements with Clarent ThroughPacket Technology Natural MicroSystems (NASDAQ: NMSS), the technology leader enabling a new era of communications, today announced a new release of its high-performance Fusion Internet Protocol (IP) telephony development software, which adds a broad range of new features geared to fast and cost-effective development of core network and high-capacity access gateways. By offering these new features in its already strong, standards-based Fusion IP telephony software, NMS delivers even greater value to communications equipment suppliers introducing high capacity media and access gateways. Features introduced with Fusion 4.2 include: · MGCP support. Support for the MGCP (Media Gateway Control Protocol) specification allows products developed with Fusion to interoperate with softswitches and other MGCP-compliant systems. MGCP is the protocol of choice for softswitch vendors to communicate with one or more media gateways in new-generation packet voice networks. By implementing MGCP as a service within the Natural Access development environment, NMS makes it far easier for communications equipment providers to support this important protocol in their products. · Clarent ThroughPacket technology. Fusion enables efficient use of IP bandwidth through a unique, Internet Protocol multiplexing technology from Clarent Corporation. Clarent ThroughPacket transmits voice packets using less bandwidth and a reduced packet rate compared to standard IP/RTP (Realtime Transport Protocol) voice transmissions. · CALEA readiness. The ability to duplicate, redirect and fork RTP streams allows products based on Fusion 4.2 to comply with the U.S. Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA). Enacted by Congress in 1994, CALEA establishes a September 2001 deadline requiring that telecommunications carriers' services and systems conform to standards that permit law enforcement officials to conduct legally authorised electronic surveillance. Additionally, applications can redirect media streams to media servers for voice processing applications. RTP redirection and forking allow easy development of enhanced services such as calling card and call redirect or transfer applications. · Linux support. Fusion 4.2 runs under the Linux operating system, in addition to the Windows NT, Windows 2000 and SPARC Solaris operating systems supported by earlier versions. · High-capacity CG 6000C support. Fusion provides programming support for the Convergence Generation (CG) 6000 Series packet telephony platforms and adds support for the 224 universal port version of the CG 6000C. Specifically developed for high-capacity gateways, the 224 port CG 6000C can be matched with the PowerAccess HYPER T3 Network Adapter to provide a T3 (672 ports) IP telephony subsystem with only four CompactPCI boards. With universal port functionality, any two complex IP voice coders (such as G.723.1 and G.729a/b, with G.711, T.38 fax and call control) can be applied to any of the 224 CG 6000C ports on a call-by-call basis. · Support for in-band DTMF carriage. Media gateways need to support both in-band and out-of-band DTMF carriage. Fusion 4.2 still includes the H.245-style out-of-band DTMF carriage support offered in previous versions of Fusion. Fusion 4.2 introduces the newer in-band DTMF carriage technique endorsed by the ITU-T and described in RFC 2833, including DTMF regeneration as well as host application notification. This provides the interoperability presently lacking in proprietary in-band DTMF carriage techniques offered by various vendors. · SNMP Realtime Transport MIB. Fusion 4.2 supports the Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) Management Information Base for Realtime Transport Protocol (RTP MIB) as defined by the IETF Audio/Video Transport (AVT) Working Group RFC 2959. This allows for remote monitoring of RTP information on a Fusion platform. Developers can rapidly create exceptionally scalable, highly available and cost-competitive products that are suited for service provider core networks by combining Fusion 4.2 with other carrier-grade platforms from NMS, including: · CG 6000C (CompactPCI) board · PowerAccess HYPER-T3 DS-3/STS-1 broadband access adapter · CG 6000eC PowerBlade voice-over-IP (VoIP) subsystem · TX3220 Signaling System 7 (SS7) products "Fusion 4.2 highlights NMS' relentless push to infuse our next-generation platforms with the industry's most extensive capabilities and maximum value," said Michel Laurence, vice president and general manager of NMS' Network Access business. "For example, we now offer communications equipment suppliers a base for high-density gateways that scale to thousands of ports and support the protocols needed to work with advanced softswitch gear. Because we are continuously building more into our IP telephony platforms, communications equipment suppliers can start out ahead and stay ahead when they choose NMS." The new version of Fusion will be commercially available in July 2001. Upgrades to Fusion 4.2 from previous versions of Fusion will be available to current NMS customers free of charge. The MCGP feature is priced separately. Expanded Capabilities for a Market on the Rise Market research firm IDC predicts the worldwide carrier gateway switch market will grow from $345 million in 2001 to $4.7 billion in 2005, reflecting the steady adoption of new generation infrastructure for voice traffic. Carriers are adopting high capacity media gateways, softswitches, signaling gateways and media servers as lower cost, more scalable replacement technology for today's switched circuit voice network. Industry Leaders See Major Benefits in Fusion 4.2 Clarent Corporation (NASDAQ: CLRN) of Redwood City, CA, the developer of Clarent ThroughPacket, is a global leader in providing intelligent, software-driven products for new-generation, IP-based communications networks. Commenting on today's announcement, Clarent CTO Mike Vargo said, "Clarent's own products show how successfully ThroughPacket reduces bandwidth requirements for VoIP traffic, and licensing this technology to innovators like NMS will help solve the bandwidth issue for a broad segment of service providers and companies using packet networks." PacketPort.com, Inc. (OTC BB: PKPT), is a leading provider of carrier-class VoIP media gateways, SS7 signaling gateways and VoDSL Access devices. "MGCP support is essential for the IP-based media gateway solutions we are pioneering," stated Jim Linley, PacketPort.com's VP of engineering. "The big difference with Fusion is that the protocol is a service within Natural Access, so we can implement MGCP using the same development environment we would use for other telephony capabilities on the NMS platform. This technical elegance allows developers to add MGCP support quite readily-resulting in solutions that have expansive appeal to service providers." About Natural MicroSystems Natural MicroSystems (NASDAQ: NMSS) is the technology leader supplying the world's major networking and communication equipment suppliers with the products and services required to create communications infrastructure, applications, and services faster and at lower costs than ever before. The Framingham, MA-based company designs, develops and supplies network-quality hardware and software, and provides design and customisation services. These enable the highly reliable and effective creation, delivery and transport of voice and data, services and applications on next-generation public and enterprise network infrastructure. Deployed in more than 65 countries, NMS' products and technologies are at the foundation of today's high-value communications systems and wireless and wireline networks, including enhanced service platforms for packet and circuit networks; access gateways for voice-over-IP (VoIP), voice-over-DSL (VoDSL) and voice over fixed broadband wireless; IP media servers; voice portals and Web-talk applications; virtual personal assistants; and Ecrm. The company also provides platform solutions for converged applications in packet networks, enabling carriers and service providers to deliver differentiated services quickly and cost effectively - with guaranteed levels of quality and service. 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 Natural MicroSystems, Fusion, Natural Access, Convergence Generation and PowerAccess are trademarks of Natural MicroSystems Corporation. Clarent and ThroughPacket are trademarks of Clarent Corporation. Windows and Windows NT are trademarks or registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries. Solaris is a trademark or registered trademark of Sun Microsystems, Inc. in the United States and other countries. All other product or corporate references are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies. This release may contain forward-looking statements regarding NMS and Clarent's products, business, customers or other factors that may affect future earnings or financial results. Such statements involve risks and uncertainties, including but not limited to potential issues relating to interoperability, ability to introduce new products, ability to retain key customers, changes in market conditions, government regulations, the international communications industry, technological changes and other factors, which could cause actual results to vary materially from those expressed in or indicated by the forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties are described further in the risk factors discussed in NMS' and Clarent's periodic filings with the SEC. 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