Alcatel Catches Up on Intelligence

Alcatel SA (NYSE: ALA; Paris: CGEP:PA) is aiming to catch up on rivals this summer by giving its service control point a session initiation protocol (SIP) interface, Light Reading has learned.

The upgrade will mean that Alcatel’s service control point (SCP) can be used to furnish intelligent-network-type services on VOIP networks as well as traditional telephone networks, a big deal for the 200 telecom operators currently using Alcatel’s SCP.

Alcatel says its SIP-enabled SCP is already being trialed by “a very large U.S. carrier.” General availability is planned for June or July.

Alcatel divulged this information in response to a Light Reading article on a startup with a SIP-enabled SCP, BayPackets Inc. The article said BayPackets had nudged its way into an account with Global Crossing Holdings Ltd. (Nasdaq: GLBC), an Alcatel customer, on the basis that it could supply something that Alcatel couldn’t (see BayPackets' VOIP Coup).

A quick survey of other major vendors suggests that Alcatel is a little late to the party on adding VOIP functionality to its SCP. Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd., Lucent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: LU), Marconi Corp. plc (Nasdaq: MRCIY; London: MONI), and ZTE Corp. all claim to have VOIP-enabled SCPs. Nortel Networks Corp. (NYSE/Toronto: NT) says it’s got one in the works. LM Ericsson (Nasdaq: ERICY) did not respond to questions, but online information about its SCP suggests an IP network interface is available.

— Ray Le Maistre, International Editor, Boardwatch

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