Symbio signs programmable switch deal

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Telecommunications distributor Symbio Networks has signed up to sell a range of carrier-grade, programmable switches of a type previously unavailable in Australia.

Telecommunications distributor Symbio Networks has signed up to sell a range of carrier-grade, programmable switches of a type previously unavailable in Australia.

Andy Fung, commercial director at Symbio Networks, said Symbio had signed Excel Switching Corporation, a US-based Lucent spin-off that sold carrier-grade, programmable switching for telecommunications service providers.

Fung said that Excel's programmable switching had not previously been available to the Australian channel. Companies using Excel here had got it via overseas developers and service providers, he said.

'The platform can handle both IP traffic and TDM,' Fung said. 'They didn't have a distributor, but actually they have companies using it in Australia.'

The E1 switches –- which targeted tier 2 or tier 3 telecommunications service providers such as Primus, iiNet or Internode -- could be programmed by the user to carry different applications, such as for voicemail or IVR, he said.

While some other switches were programmable to an extent, few allowed users to develop and use new applications, Fung said.

Symbio Networks –- which also distributed gear from vendors such as Sun Microsystems and Lucent -- would use a 50 percent direct and 50 percent channel sales model, he said.

Cisco Systems had some years ago acquired a company that made programmable switches but had failed to support its products, Fung said.

However, the market for programmable E1 switches was large enough to support 100 sales in Australia per year. Excel had around 2000 customers in 35 nations, he added.

Fung said that Symbio Networks had 'half a dozen' resellers, including Sydney's NSC Carrier Technologies and US-based Acme Packet. The company was in negotiations with about four other resellers for which Symbio might act as an OEM. He could not name those resellers, he said.

Symbio Networks has 16 staff, based at its headquarters and laboratory complex in Sydney, Fung said.

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