Monday, December 3, 2007

AT&T Enhances its SONET Services with VCAT

AT&T announced two enhancements to its SONET service portfolio for wholesale and enterprise customers: Virtual Concatenation (VCAT) service and Arc Sub-ring service. Both new offerings provide more efficient and flexible use of bandwidth so that businesses can quickly add, increase, mix and manage traffic flows across networks.

VCAT lets users bond Ethernet paths across a dedicated SONET ring without additional equipment. The VCAT features streamline the process for aggregating voice, video and IP traffic from multiple rings and allow SONET customers to quickly allocate bandwidth when it is needed for services such as business continuity and disaster recovery. AT&T is one of the first U.S. carriers to announce a wide deployment of VCAT technology to support Ethernet services across metropolitan areas.

The Arc Sub-ring feature helps SONET ring customers add new locations through a single connection without affecting the main ring or reconfiguring services such as Ethernet.

The features will be offered in the 13 states in which facilities are available: California, Nevada, Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Texas, Missouri, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Connecticut.

AT&T said both services offer a significant benefit to financial institutions, government agencies or health care providers, which are dealing in real time with massive amounts of data and traffic across multiple locations. It is especially helpful for wireless operators and other wholesale customers that manage multiple SONET rings in a metro area and want to combine traffic with different speeds over a single link to achieve more efficient use of their existing fiber routes.

In addition to VCAT and Arc Sub-rings, AT&T announced several new features in its optical product suite:

  • AT&T now supports the ability to "oversubscribe" virtual packet rings with AT&T SMARTRing services. Oversubscription allows customers to shift unused bandwidth within a SONET ring to handle bursts of traffic. This allows for more flexible bandwidth management across Ethernet circuits on AT&T's SMARTRing backbone.

  • Unprotected Channel Transport is now available for new Dedicated SONET Ring Service customers. It will allow customers the option to give lower-priority traffic an unprotected channel so that the protection channel may be used to route other traffic.