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AT & T expands IP/MPLS backbone; Deploys Cisco routers

Mon, 12/10/2007 - 7:35am
Brian Santo

AT&T said its IP/Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) backbone, which it has been building and upgrading for several years, is now operating coast-to-coast. The most recent upgrading activity includes 18,000 miles of enhanced optical ultra-long-haul routes.

AT&T said it has deployed 40 Gbps (or OC-768) technology on more than 50,000 wavelength miles of its U.S. IP/MPLS backbone network to date. The company claimed that by year's end, more than 40 percent of the IP traffic carried over its backbone will be on IP/MPLS. AT&T has IP/MPLS hubs in 25 U.S. metro areas, and is continuing the process of building IP/MPLS backbone routes to interconnect them all.

In a separate but related announcement, AT&T said it selected Cisco’s Carrier Routing System (CRS-1) as the core platform of its IP/MPLS backbone network. It is designed for continuous system operation while scaling system capacity up to 92 Terabits per second (Tbps).

Deploying equipment for rates at 40 Gbps is preparatory to jumping to 100 Gbps. AT&T said it has plans to carry traffic at speeds up to 100 Gbps, which it began testing a year ago. Verizon recently demonstrated the capability of taking a 40 Gbps network to 100 Gbps (see story).

AT&T’s IP/MPLS network carries IP-based wireless data, business video, data and voice services, private line and wavelength traffic, as well as IP-based residential services and Internet access for AT&T's 13.8 million DSL and AT&T U-verse customers.

“As the demand for Internet and IP-based applications continues to explode, IP traffic on the AT&T network has doubled throughout the past two years, and we fully expect this substantial growth to continue in the future," said John Stankey, group president of Telecom Operations at AT&T.

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