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Feb 26 - Mar 04, 2001

When Intel looked to diversify its business beyond computing in the late '90s, it established a new expanded mission — to be the building block supplier to the Internet economy. Key to the mission are the networking and communications building blocks that will enable Intel's customers to develop solutions serving the converging Internet and telecommunications market segments.

Telecom presents a sizeable opportunity for Intel. The telecom industry is larger than the computer industry, generating US $800 billion per year in global revenue according to Probe Research.

The opportunity is particularly attractive in Asia, where telecom deregulation is a significant force sweeping the region. In nearly every country, telecom authorities are in various stages of privatizing the incumbent monopoly telephone companies and offering licenses to new service providers. Accelerated by the impact of the Internet, telecom is undergoing a fundamental transition from a vertically aligned industry with a single "telco" in each country, to a horizontally aligned industry with hundreds of specialized service providers offering network access, call completion services, and applications.

In this competitive environment, new service providers are looking past traditional proprietary telephone switches to more flexible, scaleable and cost effective solutions which will enable them to rapidly offer the value added services required to attract and retain customers.

This transformation of the telecom industry is not unlike the computer revolution of the '80s — a transformation led by Intel with open systems architecture, standard high-volume silicon and an ecosystem of independent software developers.

Next Generation Networks

"Intel Delivers Building Blocks for Converged Communications in Next Generation Networks": Telecom networks are rapidly evolving from separate voice and data networks into converged multi-media networks, carrying voice, data and video traffic. These next-generation networks (NGNs) transport voice in data packets using technology called Voice-over-IP (VoIP). According to IDC, IP telephony services will grow explosively in Asia, from US $213 million this year to US $6.9 billion in 2005, while the IP telephony equipment market will reach US $4 billion in the same time frame.

In NGNs, traditional telecom switches — typically large expensive proprietary systems — will be replaced by distributed media and signaling gateways. Data switches and routers will be enhanced to flexibly handle data, voice and video traffic under program control. Media servers, based on standard, high-volume computer platforms, will store and render media for services like unified messaging. And the NGNs, driven by software that runs in application servers, will be more flexible, modular and intelligent than today's telecom and datacom networks.

Through aggressive engineering initiatives and acquisition of industry leading companies like Dialogic, Giga, Level One, Trillium and Ziatech, Intel is developing and supplying building blocks at multiple levels to enable the build out of NGNs by equipment manufacturers, application developers and system integrators, including:

The building blocks start with a portfolio of communications silicon and components — including network access, optical interfaces, I/O devices, embedded controllers and network processors — designed for companies manufacturing communications boards and subsystems. These components fit together under the Internet Exchange Architecture (IXA), a standard framework for designing networking and telecom equipment using programmable silicon.

At a higher level of integration, Intel offers a set of telecom and media processing boards designed for application developers. These boards provide a complete suite of converged communication functions — including VoIP, voice/fax coders, telecom signaling, and country-certified network interfaces — which can be used to build systems for IP telephony, enhanced network services, call centers and computer-telephony integration. The boards can be programmed using standard APIs and interoperate with CT Media and CT Connect server software, the industry's first standards-based middleware for open telecom servers.

In addition, Intel offers a suite of networking appliances and reference platforms that can be rapidly integrated by telecom system integrators. The applicants are turnkey and include enterprise routers, virtual private networking (VPN), signaling protocol converters, and voice-over-IP gateways. The reference platforms, built using high-density rack-mount server and cPCI technology, can be integrated with locally developed applications to enable features like intelligent switching, pre-paid calling cards, and audio-conferencing.

Finally, the Intel Communications Platform (ICP) is a standards-based application ready platform designed to extend the next generation network into the premises of small businesses or e-corps. Working with certified applications developed by local ISVs, the ICP can serve as a PC-PBX, IPT gateway, full featured call center, or communications application server.

e-Business Solutions and Services

"Intel Delivers Building Blocks for Value Added Services in Hosted E-business Data Centers": While convergence technology is changing the telecom infrastructure, the surge of e-business is transforming telephone company operations, as well. As enterprises and dot-coms rush to offer value added services, many are choosing to outsource their e-business operations. In response, Asian telecommunication companies are expanding to provide a broad range of hosted and co-located services in new e-business data centers. Morgan Stanley Dean Witter estimates that e-business hosting in Asia will grow from US $988 million this year to US $3.7 billion by 2004, and content delivery and routing services will grow from negligible revenues to US $3.3 billion in the same time frame.

Intel's e-business building blocks for OEMs and system integrators fit into a new category of infrastructure appliances for building or enhancing e-Business data centers. The appliance features include web hosting, server management, call routing and load balancing, secured transaction acceleration, storefront and unified messaging. The products are designed to enhance e-Business through faster online connections, security authentication and improved server response time.

Voice Enabled Internet

"Intel Delivers Building Blocks for v-Business Over the Telephone": As more business moves to the Web and more content is available online, there will be a need for ubiquitous access to Internet based services and information. A telephone is the most convenient device to access the Internet for voice-enabled e-business, or "v-business". Most information that is commonly retrieved from the Internet though a PC browser — news, sports, weather, schedules, stock quotes, and email — can be readily accessed over a telephone using natural language speech recognition to issue commands and queries, and a combination of speech synthesis and streaming audio to playback information. According to IDC, the market for voice enabled web services will grow to US $16 billion worldwide by 2004. A significant portion of this growth will occur in Asia, where the number of mobile phone users is almost three times the number of Internet subscribers using traditional browser interfaces.

Intel's V-business building block is the voice portal platform, which interfaces to a web portal using industry standard voice XML commands and enables subscribers to call into the portal using any type of telephone. The key technology behind the voice portal platform is speech recognition, and Intel works with the leading global speech recognition suppliers to support the voice portal platform with the major Asian languages.