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The globe is shrinking. IP traffic is exploding. Bandwidth is being gobbled up.

According to the US Department of Communications, today, in the U.S. alone, there are approximately 50 national IP backbone networks and more than 5,000 regional IP backbones and ISPs. Leading industry analysts expect the European WDM market for terrestrial optical transport to increase significantly by 2004. They also predict a growth rate of 50 percent per year through 2004 in the Asia-Pacific fiber optics equipment market. CIR Statistics anticipates the fiber to the home/curb/building and in-building market will grow into the billions by 2004.

The first challenge is how to simultaneously maintain, grow and change the existing network to meet the demands for high performance and customer service. The second question then becomes: how to transition that massive bandwidth into revenue generating services?

Additional research indicates there are two major forces shaping the networking infrastructure of the future: the phenomenon of wireless communications meeting the Internet Generation...and the first casualty is going to be infrastructure capacity.

As data services become more prevalent and complex, the need for speed has never been greater. Existing solutions don't scale with functionality: TDM systems are locked to the SONET rates and are difficult to provision. ATM switches don't support Gigabit Ethernet Interfaces and have not scaled to OC48 and OC192. IP routers lack Quality of Service (QoS) and don't support native voice or other real time circuits.

Delivering the next generation of communications services will require a robust, dynamic, efficient network characterized by speed, reliability and flexibility. Data such as Email, graphics, web pages, and streaming video will all need to be delivered, along with standard voice services, anywhere, anytime, to any portal. It is recognized and agreed that the network architecture required to support this new generation of services will be dramatically different from anything in existence today. It is also recognized and agreed that the only transport mechanism capable of supplying the virtually unlimited bandwidth required to support these future services is an Optical Network.

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data networking, ip services, next generation networks, fiber optic infrastructure, core internet routers, router, switch, frame relay, networks, gigabit, ethernet, MPLS, ATM, SONET, service platforms.