A New Industry Value-Adding Architecture

In 1948 AT&T needed a transistor, so Bell Labs invented it. In the 60s the monopoly needed a very special relay, the "Ferreed Switch", for the only non-solid state component in the talk path of a new generation of central office switch, so the Labs spent millions developing it. In the early 80s VMX, Octel, and other early developers of voice-messaging systems did not have to develop their own integrated circuits, but they did have to develop their systems all the way up from the component level, including the operating systems. But in 1984 several things happened that ushered in the beginnings of a new era in how telecommunications systems are developed.

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