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CeBIT Schnippets

HANGOVER, Germany -- CeBIT 2004 -- Europe's biggest technology trade fair opened its doors today, and while the hordes headed straight for the mobile phone stands to check out the latest multicolored handsets and Britney polyphonic ring tones, some of telecom's heaviest hitters were doing their bit to attract some attention.

So here's the pick of today's announcements, best washed down with a flagon of frothy Furstenburg.

  • Marconi Corp. plc (Nasdaq: MRCIY; London: MONI) cheered its investors with a lucrative network upgrade deal at Belgacom. Belgium's national operator has signed a three-year deal -- believed to be worth tens of millions of euros -- for Marconi's latest optical gear. (See Belgacom Upgrades With Marconi.)
  • Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) befuddled attendees to its press conference with a bewildering array of enhancements and acronyms regarding its Catalyst enterprise switches. In a nutshell, Cisco is claiming greater security, faster processing speeds, more bandwidth, and enhanced Ethernet capabilities. (See Cisco Beefs Up Catalyst.)

    Mark De Simone, a marketing VP for the EMEA region, claims these enhanced capabilities take Cisco closer to an intelligent enterprise network that can recognize specific applications, such as VOIP, and deal with the packets appropriately and securely. Nobody argued with him.

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