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  • MPLS, ATM Groups to Merge
Jul 2004
SALT LAKE CITY, July 16 -- The MPLS & Frame Relay Alliance and The ATM Forum announced this week they will merge and form a single organization to advance the deployment of multivendor, multiservice, packet-based networks, associated applications and interworking solutions. The groups said the merger will create a unified industry association with a combined membership of more than 100 companies representing the world's major service providers, equipment vendors, software and silicon suppliers and enterprise end-users.

The ATM Forum is dedicated to speeding the education and mass deployment of asynchronous transfer mode (ATM) and other communications technologies as the foundation for broadband networks. The MPLS & Frame Relay Alliance works to advance the recognition and acceptance of multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) and frame relay technologies in the telecommunications industry.

"The unification of the MPLS & Frame Relay Alliance and The ATM Forum will provide a huge boost to the multi-service interworking goals shared by both organizations," said Andrew G. Malis of Tellabs, president and chairman of the board of the MPLS & Frame Relay Alliance. "This merger is the culmination of a strongly coordinated effort over the past two years to closely align work items and allows us to become truly multiprotocol."

The boards of the two forums who have negotiated the merger agreement represent infrastructure providers and service providers. The interim board of the merged forum will include representatives from Alcatel, Agilent Technologies, Bell Canada, Ericsson, Harris Corp., Lucent Technologies, Riverstone Networks, Sprint, Tellabs and Verizon.

The members of each organization will be asked to approve the merger by the end of this quarter. The merger is expected to take place by the end of this year. The two organizations held a meeting this week in Salt Lake City and will continue to meet jointly and cooperate on market education and awareness activities in the interim.

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