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5/22/2007
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Samsung Enters Into Cisco's Networking Ring

The company said its new networking products have the capabilities to support fixed-mobile convergence, a big buzzword at this year's Interop show.

Samsung announced Tuesday at Interop in Las Vegas that it's formally entering the U.S. enterprise networking market to compete with Cisco Systems and other networking device makers.

Samsung is best known for its telecommunication systems and mobile devices, but has been focusing more of its efforts on businesses. The company introduced the Ubigate iBG Series in the United States; it combines routing, switching, and security in a single platform. The platform comes in different flavors, such as Ubigate iBG 2016 and Ubigate iBG 3026 for small and medium-sized businesses and branch offices. It was previously sold only in Europe and Asia.

The Integrated Security Module in Ubigate iBG inspects all incoming and outbound traffic at the router level -- the gate to an enterprise network -- and the Desktop Agents blocks abnormal end points, said Samsung. This type of security will be increasingly important to businesses as they deploy voice communications over IP networks.

"A few years ago we were trying to fulfill the vision of becoming an IP networking leader," said Alex Kim, VP of business development of Samsung's enterprise network division, during the press conference. He also noted that convergence is taking place on two fronts in data and voice, as well as in wired and wireless.

Samsung's Ubigate iBG Series products have the capabilities to support fixed-mobile convergence, a term that most commonly refers to the integration of wired and wireless technologies. Fixed-mobile convergence, known as FMC, also will allow businesses to deploy dual-mode devices for seamless handoff between Wi-Fi and cellular networks. But it could be awhile until businesses will be able to take advantage of these capabilities since "cheap IP communications is not something service providers have been quick to adopt," said Youngsoo Ryu, senior VP of Samsung's enterprise network division.

FMC is the big buzzword at Interop this year. Tech vendors are promising to support FMC through capabilities that they're building into their products, although it still seems real-world deployments are far out in the future because of many challenges that have yet to be solved.

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