Ericsson Canada Inc. (NASDAQ:ERICY) and COGNICASE Inc. (NASDAQ:COGI)(TSE:COG.) have formed a strategic agreement combining their expertise to develop, validate and implement Internet Protocol (IP) telephony and wireless Internet solutions for the business market. Ericsson, a worldwide leader in IP telephony and mobile communications, becomes the strategic supplier of IP telecom equipment to COGNICASE. This will represent over $10 million CAD in orders for Ericsson in a first phase.
This agreement will expand COGNICASE's range of telecommunications solutions for business customers and provide a first mover advantage in the integration of IP telephony and wireless office solutions such as the GSM on the Net. Using Ericsson IP equipment, COGNICASE is committed to investing $3 to $5 million CAD for using both technologies internally and develop the business case for implementation in the corporate market to become a leading telecommunications integrator.
"This strategic agreement demonstrates our commitment to leadership as a systems and business integrator in the corporate telecommunications market and represents over $20 million CAD for COGNICASE in integration of these solutions for our customers," said Ronald Brisebois, President and Chief Executive Officer of COGNICASE. "We are joining forces with Ericsson to accelerate our time to market for the deployment of IP telephony solutions and to contribute our expertise in wireless and Internet services towards the development of high performance wireless office solutions."
"As a leader in Internet solutions, we believe that this agreement will strengthen Ericsson's dominant presence in the wireless and the wireless Internet domain with COGNICASE's strong Internet solution offering, explained Brian Barry, President and CEO of Ericsson Canada Inc."
In a related agreement, the two companies will cooperate in the development of next generation applications supporting two emerging wireless standards - Bluetooth and third generation (3G) technologies and services.
Bluetooth is an initiative by Ericsson, together with IBM, Intel, Nokia, Motorola, Lucent, 3COM, Microsoft and Toshiba to establish a standard for a cable-free connectivity between mobile phones, mobile PCs, handheld computers and others peripherals. The two companies will develop Bluetooth applications that will greatly enhance the wireless solutions being offered today. For instance, Bluetooth radio technology built into both cellular telephones and laptops would replace the cumbersome cable used today to connect these devices. "This is a new global standard that will change the way we communicate," stated Mr. Barry.
Furthermore, the two companies will work together in (3G) technology and Internet portal solutions to develop the next wave of mobile Internet access. 3G is the next generation of wireless technology that will allow the integration of voice and data at higher bit rates compared to current cellular and PCS standards. This will provide users with increased access to information using cellular telephones. "The next generation in mobile will put a greater demand on information content on the Internet, and CCOGNICASE, with Ericsson technology and services, will be ready to answer its customers demands" according to Mr. Brisebois.
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