Voice enhancement system expands company's platform and systems offerings, adds profitable new revenue stream
NMS Communications, a leading supplier of technology for tomorrow's networks, today announced a definitive agreement to acquire the voice enhancement and echo cancellation business of Lucent Technologies. Under terms of the agreement, which is subject to customary closing conditions and expected to close by the end of the year, NMS will pay $60 million in cash for all of the assets of this business. Upon completion of the deal, NMS will enter into a multi-year agreement to serve as the exclusive supplier of stand-alone echo cancellation systems and sound quality equipment for Lucent. Lucent will continue providing these systems to its global service provider customers. Simultaneously, NMS will expand its market reach by forging new alliances with other communications equipment suppliers and service providers.
The acquisition is part of NMS' strategic focus on becoming a premier provider of systems and platforms for communications infrastructure, applications and services, particularly to the rapidly growing wireless market. The voice enhancement systems business provides NMS with a new family of complete, ready-to-install systems, an experienced carrier-facing sales force, deep technology capabilities in the areas of voice quality, wireless networks and fault tolerant systems, along with noteworthy intellectual property and patents. The existing customer base, which numbers more than 100, includes many of the world's leading service providers.
Among wireless service providers, voice quality technology is a critical differentiator. It is vital to prolonging call duration, stepping up call frequency, and minimising customer churn. Furthermore, voice enhancement systems play an important role in improving audio quality for voice over IP (VoIP) systems and voice recognition accuracy for enhanced services, such as voice-activated dialling - areas that have represented strongholds for NMS.
"We believe the Lucent Echo Cancellation Solutions business will benefit from joining NMS," said Steve Akers, Lucent Technologies chief technical officer for the Internetworking Solutions Group. "As part of NMS, this business expects to be able to broaden its customer base and invest more in maintaining its leading voice quality systems. Through our OEM agreement, Lucent will continue to offer top-notch voice quality systems from NMS, while focusing our own resources on other needs of our large service provider customers."
Lucent's voice enhancement and echo cancellation business spans a line of systems that telecom carriers deploy in central offices and mobile switching centres in order to achieve consistently clear audio quality. Voice quality technology is critically important to wireless operators for differentiating their services, avoiding customer churn, and encouraging those customers to place more and longer calls.
"Through this acquisition, NMS Communications will gain essential technologies, an established, world-class systems business as well as a strategic relationship with Lucent," said NMS Chairman and CEO Bob Schechter. "This complements our initiatives in the voice platform, media gateway and media server markets and provides an additional, profitable revenue stream. What's more, the voice enhancement systems team that will join us will extend our ability to support service provider and network requirements."
Lucent Technologies, headquartered in Murray Hill, N.J., USA, designs and delivers networks for the world's largest communications service providers. Backed by Bell Labs research and development, Lucent relies on its strengths in mobility, optical, data and voice networking technologies as well as software and services to develop next-generation networks. The company's systems, services and software are designed to help customers quickly deploy and better manage their networks and create new, revenue-generating services that help businesses and consumers.
For more information on Lucent Technologies, visit its Web site at http://www.lucent.com
About NMS Communications
NMS Communications (NASDAQ: NMSS) strives to lead in the design, development and distribution of hardware and software for the communications industry's most advanced solutions. Using NMS products and services, the world's leading networking and telecommunications suppliers get their solutions to market faster, and at lower costs.
NMS supplies the essential technologies for network-based IP media services, voice Web applications, speech-driven enterprise solutions such as customer relationship management (CRM), and packet voice and broadband access services, including voice over IP (VoIP), voice over DSL (VoDSL) and voice over wireless local loop (VoWLL).
NMS Communications: Technology for Tomorrow's Networks.
Visit http://www.nmscommunications.com for more information.
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Kim Polley/ Gillie Tennant
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