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Struggling telecoms equipment manufacturer Lucent has stopped the development of a key switch for the telco market, just weeks prior to its scheduled release.

The Multiservice Core Switch 25000, an ATM switch designed to sit at the heart of a telco's high-speed network, has been dropped as part of Lucent's ongoing product review, a company spokesman told us today.

Potential customers were luke-warm in their response to the switch because the product not have supported MPLS (Multi-Protocol Label Switching), a key technology for speeding data flow over telco networks, on its release in December.

Computerwire reports that MCS 25000 was described by Lucent as its "flagship product" when it announced its launch back in June.

Instead of ploughing ahead with the technology, Lucent has decided it makes more sense to return to the drawing board. The aim now is to develop a platform which can deliver an IP MPLS core and quality of service features to market more quickly than would have been possible with the scrapped product.

Cisco Systems and Juniper Networks have been shipping MPLS-enabled kit for some time and Lucent hopes that by redesigning its switch it can leapfrog the competition, rather than playing catch up.

Lucent spokesman Mike Alva told us the company remains committed to the multi-service, WAN-switching market, despite the change in plan. ®

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