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Telco Systems Buys Integral Access

Light Reading
News Analysis
Light Reading
7/28/2005
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Trying to bolster its arsenal of VOIP equipment, announced yesterday it has acquired startup Integral Access Inc. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

A subsidiary of BATM Advanced Communications Ltd. (London: BVC), Telco Systems builds equipment for the transport of VOIP traffic. The company has announced a steady flow of products during the past year, including an IP media gateway, a VOIP integrated access device, and an Ethernet ring system. Telco Systems also has a big name on its side, as agreed to resell its products last year. (See Telco Systems Intros IP Media Gateway, FalconStor Looks to Feds, Telco Systems Intros Metro Ring, and Alcatel Resells Telco Systems Gear.)

Nine-year-old Integral Access certainly fits that mold, as the company makes a multiservice box that can be used as an access gateway in VOIP networks. Naturally, the box is IP-based, but its multiservice nature gives Telco Systems a play in network convergence, migrating carrier traffic to IP from older TDM systems.

The key is that Integral Access's box works with both Class 5 switches, for TDM traffic, and softswitches, for VOIP. A carrier can switch customers to VOIP from TDM without having to replace the system. Telco Systems' gateways, by contrast, pack all protocols into VOIP form for transport to a softswitch, says Dave Lee, vice president of marketing and services.

To that end, Lee adds, Telco Systems sees Integral Access as a play "for the alternative carriers, the CLECs, and the independent telcos."

Integral Access isn't exactly a newcomer at TDM-to-IP convergence. Founded in 1996, the company's history includes a partnership with Unisphere -- since acquired by Juniper Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: JNPR) -- to help build converged networks based on end-to-end MPLS. The company has also dealt in broadband IADs and more recently began offering carrier equipment for residential VOIP.

Lee wouldn't say how many employees are at Integral Access but did say Telco Systems expects to pick up "a majority" of them. Integral Access officials were not immediately available to clarify.

— Craig Matsumoto, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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