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UK carriers already use ECT's AutoCarrier (as a platform for their
state-of-the-art intelligent services; now they can connect the softswitch
directly to the public network, avoiding the acquisition and collocation
costs for separate class 4 switches, service nodes and intelligent
peripherals.



London, August 2, 2001 - ECT (European Computer Telecoms AG), a Munich-based
developer and manufacturer of next-generation softswitching technology,
today announced BT has awarded them certification for interconnection in the
UK via the BT NUP protocol. This means that carriers can now utilise
AutoCarrier as a class 4 switch connected directly to the UK public switched
telephone network (PSTN).


In order to offer services, carriers with legacy switches use additional
equipment, which is expensive and takes up costly collocation space. With
its next-generation technology based on Internet-enabled software and open
standards, ECT has set out to reduce the horrendous amount of kit and the
highly complicated architecture required for intelligent value-added
services. As Walter Rott, ECT's chief technology officer (CTO), sums it up,
"We want to enable our customers throughout Europe to use one, high-density
softswitch for interconnection and, at the same time, as an innovative and
powerful platform for customised services."



Of course, ECT can only reach this goal by being approved for
interconnection in each European country. The AutoCarrier softswitch passed
conformity tests conducted by T-Nova Deutsche Telekom in June 2000, laying
the foundation for certification in all other European countries. Approval
in Ireland, for instance, followed in March 2001.



However, the interconnection testing for the UK is a special challenge due
to BT NUP, the country-specific SS7 variant required especially for the UK.
Nevertheless, the approval testing, which was carried out by BT Exact
Technologies, was completed on the first go and far ahead of schedule in
just nine working days.



"Of course, I'm proud that we passed BT interconnection so quickly, " says
Rott, "but even after such a significant milestone, there's no rest for me
any my colleagues at ECT. Just a week before the BT testing, we also
completed interconnection in the Czech Republic for a member of the Deutsche
Telekom Group, and now I'm already preparing interconnection testing in
France with yet another country specific-protocol called SPIROU. That will
mean three interconnections in record time!"



Carriers throughout Europe use the AutoCarrier to realise services like
personal number service with unified messaging, network-based call centre,
audiotex and fax services, prepaid calling cards, web-based conferencing,
etc. With AutoCarrier alone, UK carriers can now offer such services without
separate class 4 switches, intelligent peripherals, unified messaging
systems, or intelligent network kit, as all of these are integrated into the
AutoCarrier architecture.



The interconnect testing is carried out against the UK agreed PNO
specification (1) and ITU-T standards where they are referenced from the PNO
specification.


About European Computer Telecoms AG


European Computer Telecoms AG was established in Munich in 1998, not long
after the German telecommunications market was liberalised. The company
develops and manufactures next-generation public switching solutions on the
basis of open-standard, Internet-compatible software and computer
technologies. As well as providing intelligent switching and service
platforms, ECT also helps its customers to open up new markets. Its services
range from creating new sources of revenue and optimising the use of
existing telecommunications infrastructure to the rapid introduction of new
services.


ECT's customers include large public network operators as well as
up-and-coming young carriers. The AutoCarrier, a switching system developed
and marketed by ECT, is the first ever softswitch to use one and the same
hardware platform to provide a connection to the public telephone networks
as well as to implement intelligent value-added services. With its platform
for intelligent networks, INtellECT, ECT also realises intelligent
value-added services on the basis of an intelligent network with INAP CS1
and CS2. Network operators, telephone companies and Internet service
providers can use service applications to respond instantly to changing
patterns of demand in their markets. They can develop entirely new services,
becoming innovators in their particular sector. A wide range of technologies
- such as prepaid or postpaid billing, data warehousing, advanced routing,
interactive voice response (IVR), Web-based administration, automatic call
distribution over the network, unified messaging, digital recording,
text-to-speech and speech recognition - can be implemented as new,
intelligent services without the need for high investment or long run-up
periods. ECT is constantly developing and integrating additional service
applications, all of which can be implemented directly on ECT softswitches
without any additional hardware. And the Internet can be used to make all
services directly available to resellers and end customers.



For more information, visit the ECT Web site at http://www.ect-telecoms.co.uk


For further press information:

European Computer Telecoms AG
Albrecht Faber
Ridlerstraße 55
80339 München
Telefon: 0 89/ 55 29 47 - 0
Telefax: 0 89/ 55 29 47 - 111
E-Mail: albrecht.faber@ect-telecoms.de


Text 100
David Reeks
Power Road Studios
114a Power Road
Chiswick
London
W4 5PY
Tel: +44 (0) 20 8996 4136
Fax: +44 (0) 20 8996 1236
Email: davidr@text100.co.uk

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