MCI deploys ultra long haul DWDM network, selects equipment from Ciena and Siemens

February 23, 2004 Ashburn, VA -- MCI is deploying a new Ultra Long Haul (ULH) DWDM optical network, which it claims will set new standards for service delivery, performance, and reliability. The next-generation transport network will become the foundation by which all MCI services will be delivered. Today, MCI is carrying traffic on its first ULH network route deployment in the western U.S. and expects to complete its domestic network build-out over a three- to five-year period.

Feb 23rd, 2004

February 23, 2004 Ashburn, VA -- MCI is deploying a new Ultra Long Haul (ULH) DWDM optical network, which it claims will set new standards for service delivery, performance, and reliability. The next-generation transport network will become the foundation by which all MCI services will be delivered. Today, MCI is carrying traffic on its first ULH network route deployment in the western U.S. and expects to complete its domestic network build-out over a three- to five-year period.

"As we continue to execute on our IP convergence vision, MCI's Ultra Long Haul deployment signifies a strategic, long-term investment in the future of all IP communications," asserts Fred Briggs, president of MCI Operations & Technology. "We were the first to build a commercial global IP network, and now we will be the first communications company in the United States to deploy and activate the optical network of the future on a broad scale."

The ULH network will allow MCI to simplify its internal process of provisioning network capacity from months to weeks, resulting in better network optimization and utilization for the company. As a high-capacity all-optical network infrastructure, ULH is capable of supporting OC-768 core capacity with transmission speeds up to 40 Gbit/sec--four times faster than what has been deployed by service providers today.

The rapid scalability sets the stage for MCI customers to seamlessly adopt bandwidth-intensive business applications like Web Services, multimedia content distribution, grid computing, real-time imaging, and storage networking. The network will also create a platform for future infrastructure-based services such as protocol-independent wavelength services and other MCI Private Line service enhancements, which the carrier plans to make available later this year.

"MCI has always engineered its network with an eye on the future," contends Briggs. "By combining our current network infrastructure with next-generation ULH DWDM capabilities, MCI is uniquely positioned to efficiently manage internal costs in an increasingly competitive marketplace."

The ULH network will allow transmission systems to extend up to 2000 km (up to four times longer than traditional technology) without expensive electronic regeneration equipment. This serves to streamline MCI's U.S. network infrastructure by eliminating thousands of signal regenerators, reducing both the amount of equipment in the network, and the number of physical connections between network elements. This, in turn, results in a more cost effective, more manageable, and more reliable network.

In addition, ULH technology will allow MCI to provision more capacity on each fiber than is possible today. This will enable the company to reduce the amount of transmission equipment required to deliver network capacity. In doing so, MCI's network will be simplified by consolidating transmission bandwidth onto a common, reliable, all-optical network infrastructure.

MCI's ULH network will be supported by a new network management system enabling end-to-end automation for accurate monitoring, provisioning and network management. Overall, with fewer elements and systems to monitor and maintain, ULH allows more efficient operations without compromising network reliability or security, say company representatives.

MCI has selected CIENA Corp. and Siemens as its vendors of choice for the ULH domestic deployment.

CIENA today announced that MCI has selected its CoreStream platform for integrated optical transport and switching. CoreStream will provide a reliable optical ULH backbone that integrates software-configurable wavelength switching. CoreStream's ultra long-haul capabilities will allow MCI to eliminate electrical signal regenerations, while automated wavelength switching will allow MCI to remotely provision wavelengths.

"MCI is moving to deploy the industry's most extensive all-service, ultra long-haul network," reports Gary Smith, president and CEO of CIENA. "No major carrier has undertaken such a comprehensive effort, building an entirely new network designed specifically to offer the highest levels of efficiency and reliability for the broadest range of voice and data services. We're pleased that MCI recognizes the economic and competitive value in CIENA's solution for converged networks," he adds, "and we're proud to serve such a crucial role in MCI's network evolution."

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