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Archives for January, 2009

AT&T announced the availability of their coast-to-coast IP/MPLS (Multiprotocol Label Switching) network, able to deliver speeds of up to 40Gbps. The infrastructure is powered by Cisco Systems core routers that allow the provider to quadruple the network capacity.

The backbone network provides 40 Gbps speed without using multiplexing technology to combine multiple digital signals into an optical channel. AT&T’s backbone network is ready to provide a wide range of IT solutions, including wireless data, business video, data and voice services, private line and wavelength traffic, as well as IP-based residential services for the company’s 13.8 million 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. "Our industry-leading deployment of 40-Gigabit technology enables us to stay ahead of our customers’ growing need for bandwidth and to continually deliver the fast, reliable connectivity our customers need to connect with their world."

The 40 Gbps backbone network is designed to continue the transport even if a network link or node has been disrupted. AT&T has announced that in the following months they will further enhance the network architecture to add homed edge sites, able to provide other network paths through hubs, joined to the MPLS Fast Reroute technology to enable service resume in sub-second times.

The network upgrade is powered by Cisco’s Carrier Routing System (CRS-1), that provides a scalable and flexible platform for the company’s futher expanding network. The current backbone is designed for continuous operation with the ability to be scaled up to 92 Terabits per second (Tbps).

"Cisco and AT&T have worked closely over the past several years to develop an extensive range of IP-based services that change how people live, work, learn and play", said Kelly Ahuja, vice president and general manager of the core routing business unit at Cisco. "We’re extremely pleased today to announce support for the deployment of AT&T’s OC-768 backbone network, the critical foundation for both its managed business services and consumer traffic."

Verizon this week officially became the nation’s largest wireless operator, finalizing their $27 billion deal to acquire Alltel. Verizon is paying $5.9 billion and acquiring $22.2 billion in Alltel debt, and will in turn get about 13 million new customers — for a total of 83 million customers. For reference, AT&T has 74.9 million, Sprint has 50.5 million, and T-Mobile has 32.1 million. While consumer advocates fought the deal, saying it would only serve to reduce competition, it was approved by the FTC, FCC and Justice Department.

Alltel customers are now included in the Mobile to Mobile calling family of Verizon Wireless. Verizon customers have unlimited calling to Alltel customers in place, though Alltel customers still have to pay — for the time being. Verizon Wireless customers can check to see if their friend’s numbers are eligible for unlimited Mobile to Mobile minutes by using this tool.

According to the post, Verizon plans to convert Alltel customers to Verizon Wireless billing within two to three months, with a full brand conversion within six months.

There’s a full integration FAQ at the Verizon website here.

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