Marconi redefines its business and vision

13 March 2003 -- Marconi this week announced at CeBIT, Hanover, that its programme to refocus on its core strengths in the telecommunications equipment and services marketplace is nearing completion.

13 March 2003 -- Marconi this week announced at CeBIT, Hanover, that its programme to refocus on its core strengths in the telecommunications equipment and services marketplace is nearing completion.

"We have essentially completed the task of structuring our core business for the future and have made progress in streamlining our business functions," said Mike Parton, company CEO.

"Over the past 18 months, we have identified our core business, reduced non-core activities radically and aligned our renewed focus with our strengths.

"Despite the last two years of turbulence in our industry, Marconi has retained its key customers, and continued to bring important new products to market. We have also appointed a strong board to oversee our evolution."

Parton believes that partnerships, where R&D and routes to market are shared for mutual benefit, will be an increasingly important factor in the industry. "There is no single technology company today capable of addressing all areas of the operators' network requirements. Marconi's existing partnerships are good examples and we will build on these," he said.

Marconi's future business focus falls into four primary areas:

Optical networks
This is the company's largest product area where it is a leader in most of its markets, having both incumbency with a significant number of major carriers, and technology solutions. The business is a leading provider of SDH transmission equipment in Europe and "tenable" positions in Central and Latin America, and the Asia-Pacific region.

The company claims to have a "leading position" in SDH and strength in European DWDM markets. The company will continue to build on these positions with continued investment in new technology, focusing on cost effective packet-based transport and efficient presentation of data services in metropolitan and optical core networks.

Marconi began the introduction of its range of next gen SDH equipment (including its SMA Series 4, its MSH2K and its MSH64C) in 2002 and it expects to introduce further new SDH products, including its SMA 16-64 family, during 2003. Support for private and virtual private data services will be delivered with integrated PacketSpan and CellSpan data cards, with the option of
ethernet port extensions for low cost customer delivery.

Broadband routing and switching (BBRS)
BBRS is focused on helping public operators evolve from mature, circuit-based networks to more efficient, packet-based networks. Products include switch-router platforms that scale from 2.5 to 480 Gbit/s for the broadband service delivery and core transport markets, including VPNs (Virtual Private Networks), DSL aggregation, 3G aggregation, Internet access and infrastructure, packet-based voice switches and carrier-managed business services.

At the top end is the new BXR-48000 480 Gbps switch-router, which supports cell and packet interfaces at the same time on the same platform - critical for the evolution to packet-based networks. The BXR-48000 provides its 480Gbit/s in switching capacity in two standard equipment racks and recently was augmented by the world's first commercially available OC-192c (10 Gbit/s) ATM interface.

For the IP/ MPLS market, BBRS products address core infrastructures for IP deployments and multiservice networks, while simultaneously supporting existing services such as Frame Relay, ATM and private line data. The products also address the network edge through MPLS transparent LAN services. BBRS customers include established relationships with government, military, and selected public carriers in North America and the Asian/Pacific market.

Broadband Systems (European Access)
This business focuses on leveraging the group's reputation and relationships in the ETSI region by providing operators with access to networks and packetised voice technology needed to develop new revenue streams.

Key product SoftSwitch, which was sold recently to Jersey Telecom, is already under trial with a number of Marconi's customers. SoftSwitch is a carrier-class, software-based voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology that allows all communications traffic, including voice, data, e-mail, multimedia and faxes to be managed intelligently on a single broadband platform.

SoftSwitch, the comapny says, allows operators to evolve their traditional narrowband networks to broadband data networks required for the distribution of new multimedia services. It can also enable the use of PC-based software phones that can follow the end user wherever they are, as well as enhanced video conferencing and advanced application sharing.

Next Generation Networks
Access Hub is being deployed as a critical element of a number of operators' network strategies to enable the roll-out of broadband access services based on a highly cost effective implementation of digital subscriber line (xDSL) to end users. Access Hub may also be configured to host softswitch Voice Gateways to support voice over DSL (VoDSL) and high capacity trunk circuits. In conjunction with the Marconi SoftSwitch and our Routing and Switching products, we believe we have a truly world class Next Generation Network solution.

Fixed Wireless
Marconi's Fixed Wireless Access solutions, developed primarily at Backnang, Germany, are designed to provide connectivity without physical connections to both fixed line and mobile operators. Marconi has recently announced the introduction of its next generation Marconi Digital Multipoint System (MDMS) solution, designed to offer mobile operators easy and seamless migration from second or 2.5G to third generation or 3G networks.

Services
This division is closely aligned to, and builds from, Marconi's incumbent equipment positions with leading network operators and corporate customers worldwide and includes installation, commissioning and maintenance, network planning (including radio planning services) and managed network services, such as configuration management and capacity planning.

The division in an active provider of services under a range of long-term information technology and network services contracts with a range of non-telecommunications operator customers, particularly in the transportation and government sectors. The Services division supports equipment from Marconi and from other, third party equipment vendors. In total, services accounts for some 40 percent of Marconi's core revenues.

Marconi says it has identified services as a key element in its future as its customers increasingly opt to outsource services to specialist third parties like Marconi as an important element in their efforts to reduce operating expenditure.

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