"MCI has reached another milestone in our global convergence strategy," said Fred Briggs, President of MCI Operations and Technology. "Ericsson's Engine platform will enable MCI to flexibly and cost-effectively converge international voice services onto our IP backbone to optimize our network, increase efficiency and further realize operational savings while providing more value to customers."

MCI carrier customers and partners will continue to be able to receive today's full range of existing telephony services as well as enable them to migrate to next-generation IP services as their businesses demand. The deployment will also provide scalable IP access, for customers and partners, to MCI's large global voice network and deliver enhanced VoIP features in the future.

 "As a long-time vendor to MCI, Ericsson is excited to play a key role in supporting MCI's continued evolution to an all-IP network," said Angel Ruiz, president and chief executive officer of Ericsson North America. "Our flexible Engine solution is aligned to fit seamlessly into MCI's network, protecting voice revenues and enabling new revenue streams while substantially reducing operational costs."

Building on its domestic VoIP migration plans, announced in June 2003, MCI has become one of the first U.S.-based service providers to provision the transition of its international voice service to its core IP backbone. Already well into the deployment of Ericsson's latest generation voice switching platform into the network, MCI expects to begin transitioning traffic by mid 2005.

MCI's Engine deployment includes the Ericsson Telephony Server (TeS) which serves as the voice gateway controller and signaling gateway, and the Ericsson Media Gateway (MGW) as the VoIP media path converters. Engine will allow MCI to transfer the function of fixed international switch voice circuits to the dynamic efficiencies of the MCI IP global network. The Media Gateways (MGW) will packetize voice streams that come from the legacy TDM network for transport across the IP backbone. Likewise, MGWs will also convert VoIP packets back to TDM voice streams for transport across the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN). Also, by providing MCI with the capability to interconnect existing VoIP networks with SIP and H.323, Engine will also provide MCI the flexibility to connect with global carriers to exchange VoIP traffic regardless of protocol preference.