Cable & Wireless’ Next Generation Network Plans

Following closely on the heels of British Telecom’s plans of 21st Century Network (21CN), Cable & Wireless says it will build its own next generation network – for a total cost of $365 million. Basically what these next generation networks do is get rid of legacy technologies like SDH and build on a pure IP core. Other legacy technologies which are higher up in the stack like ATM, Frame Relay and Circuit Switched are replaced by pure IP. C&W will get rid of 70 old fashioned voice switches and replace them with 10 softswitches. Central offices will now be called IP nodes. This could be a vital makeover as C&W pushes its Bulldog broadband service and finally starts to give BT some real competition. Not bad for a company that was staring bankruptcy in the face, thanks to its ill-fated greed prompted move into the internet hosting and colocation business. Juniper and Cisco Systems are likely winners of this makeover, Light Reading says. Nortel could get a piece of soft switch business. The spread of Ethernet into carrier networks is an indication that carriers want simpler and all IP networks.

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