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Nortel Brings Advanced IP Communications to Rural USA


SOUTH DAKOTA – Roberts County Telephone**, the local service provider for the rural community of New Effington, South Dakota, is playing a part in the transformation of the rural service provider business through their recent work with Nortel* [NYSE/TSX: NT] to achieve listing of the Nortel Communication Server 1500 (CS1500) VoIP softswitch in the Rural Utilities Service** (RUS) List of Materials. This government grant program opens up financial assistance opportunities for hundreds of U.S. rural operators to upgrade their networks to support high-quality communications services like IPTV and VoIP.

Using Nortel’s CS 1500 VoIP softswitch and acting as Nortel’s official trial site for the grant program, Roberts County Telephone and Nortel completed the necessary trials to get the CS 1500 included in the RUS List of Materials. This means that other rural American telephone companies like Roberts County Telephone can apply for government grants to help purchase Nortel’s CS 1500 to upgrade legacy equipment to support IP networks. The grant program, designed to bring advanced communications like IPTV and VoIP services to rural areas, is funded by The Technical Standards Committee “A” (Telecommunications) of RUS, a division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The grants cover expenditures such as network enhancements, equipment and construction financing, and assistance obtaining advanced networking equipment.

“Getting products RUS listed is no easy task, requiring extensive documentation, technical presentations and more than six months of service provider trials to ensure the product meets the extensive criteria for inclusion in the RUS List of Materials,” said Alf Decardenas, general manager, Carrier Multimedia Networks, Nortel. “Rural service providers need a solution that allows them to evolve their existing network to VoIP to meet growing customer demand for converged and multimedia services. With the help of Robert’s County Telephone, Nortel has achieved RUS listing of its market-leading VoIP technology that will help rural service providers take advantage of the benefits of IP-based communications while keeping their operational costs down.”

So why would a rural service provider want Nortel’s CS 1500? Plenty of reasons, because these customers are often in remote, rural areas, the cost of reaching the population with services like VoIP can be restrictive. As the demand for advanced communications services continues to grow in rural communities, service providers can take advantage of RUS grants to upgrade their networks and seize the opportunities being driven by Hyperconnectivity, a global trend where anything that can be connected to the network, will be connected. Nortel’s CS 1500, a next-generation IP softswitch, is specifically designed for regional carriers because it allows them to continue to support traditional voice services while also being able to easily evolve to advanced IP-based communications like personal conference bridges, new multimedia services like converged click-to-call functionality over a PC and IPTV.

To address the special needs of the regional carrier market, Nortel’s CS 1500 integrates with a service provider’s existing TDM infrastructure, allowing small operators in rural U.S. to upgrade their networks cost-effectively. According to an internal Nortel business case, allowing service providers to reuse existing DMS-10 line equipment and migrate to VoIP at their own pace can help reduce their capital investment by up to 40 percent compared to full switch replacement.

Nortel’s CS 1500 was launched in June 2007 and in just seven months the company has sold 84 networks to 65 regional North American carriers. Nortel’s Carrier VoIP solutions are IMS-ready and have been designed to provide for a simple evolution to IMS services. According to Dell-Oro Group, Nortel is the worldwide leader in Carrier VoIP and has been for six consecutive years (2002 through to the latest reported numbers in 2007).

About Nortel

Nortel is a recognized leader in delivering communications capabilities that make the promise of Business Made Simple a reality for our customers. Our next-generation technologies, for both service provider and enterprise networks, support multimedia and business-critical applications. Nortel’s technologies are designed to help eliminate today’s barriers to efficiency, speed and performance by simplifying networks and connecting people to the information they need, when they need it. Nortel does business in more than 150 countries around the world. For more information, visit Nortel on the Web at For the latest Nortel news, visit

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