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Alcatel powers the network with new Gigabit Ethernet and PoE stackable switches


Paris, April 24, 2006 - Alcatel (Paris: CGEP.PA and NYSE: ALA) today introduced the Alcatel OmniSwitch 6850 family of stackable 10/100/1000 and 10/100/1000PoE workgroup switches, which are 10 Gigabit capable workgroup switches. The OmniSwitch 6850s are the first Alcatel switches to provide Gigabit power-over-Ethernet (PoE) capabilities, as well as offer extensive port diversity, full Alcatel Operating System (AOS) support, gigabit to the desktop, 10 Gigabit uplinks, and enhanced performance for a flexible, intelligent and highly available network.

The OmniSwitch 6850L models provide Fast Ethernet to the desktop and are software upgradeable to Gigabit. Alcatel continues as the only workgroup switch vendor to provide a cost-effective means for enterprises to migrate to Gigabit Ethernet desktop connections through an innovative software key that unlocks Gigabit Ethernet functionality built into each desktop port.

As users continue to embrace high-bandwidth and real-time applications such as video to the desktop, multimedia enterprise applications and voice-over-IP over LANs and wireless LANs, enterprises are becoming more dependent on fast network response which is driving the need for Gigabit Ethernet networks. With the Gigabit Ethernet upgradeability feature, OmniSwitch 6850L switches allow the enterprise to upgrade one or more switches at a time via software, saving the cost of completely replacing the hardware.

“The OmniSwitch 6850 and 6850L are products that provide the competitive features necessary to be a winner in the enterprise market and they are being offered at very competitive prices,” Steven Schuchart, senior analyst - enterprise infrastructure at Current Analysis. “The switch family offers great port diversity allowing it to address multiple enterprise requirements. These switches are ideal for use in metro networks because they are extremely reliable and robust.”

The Alcatel OmniSwitch 6850s and 6850Ls protect network investment by providing capabilities for future use such as advanced security for the edge, support for user mobility and dual IPv4/IPv6 capability. The switch family’s exceptional price-to-performance ratio and numerous power and port configurations mean that customers have the flexibility to buy only what they need today without sacrificing performance they will require in the future. Customers will also benefit from the wire-rate layer-2 switching and layer-3 routing supporting optimal quality of service (QoS) for voice and video applications.

“Although the OmniSwitch 6850s stand less than two inches tall, the switching capacity rivals conventional chassis solutions that we were considering before,” said Donna J. VanHousen, Senior Director, Information Services & Technology of ViaHealth. “And, with the various power options and small size, we can use the OmniSwitch 6850 in a closet or as a workgroup switch because of its depth and breadth of capabilities.”

“Enterprise networks require a user-centric security framework to support the increased mobility of users and VoIP deployments,” said Eric Penisson, vice president of marketing for Alcatel’s enterprise network infrastructure activities. “The OmniSwitch 6850 family provides that security framework along with innovative features and flexibility such as standard and high power-over-Ethernet.”

The OmniSwitch 6850s continue Alcatel’s leadership role in network security and availability by supporting Alcatel’s Access Guardian framework and its auto-sense authentication that runs on the Alcatel Operating System (AOS). After the initial configuration of the switch, the Alcatel Access Guardian saves network managers’ time through automatic authentication of any device on the network using the strongest authentication supported by the device, such as 802.1x or MAC addresses.

The switches are available in 24-port and 48-port versions, with AC and DC power with standard and high-power PoE, and with or without 10-Gigabit uplinks. Eight of them can be stacked together for a total capacity of 384 Gigabit ports and 16 10-Gigabit ports. The OmniSwitch 6850 is available immediately from Alcatel resellers while the OmniSwitch 6850L will be available in summer 2006. Prices start at $3,995 list for the OmniSwitch 6850-24 model.

About Alcatel
Alcatel provides communications solutions to telecommunication carriers, Internet service providers and enterprises for delivery of voice, data and video applications to their customers or employees. Alcatel brings its leading position in fixed and mobile broadband networks, applications and services, to help its partners and customers build a user-centric broadband world. With sales of EURO 13.1 billion and 58,000 employees in 2005, Alcatel operates in more than 130 countries.


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