Sprint, Nortel target enterprise market with optical network solutions

16 September 2003 Overland, KA Lightwave Europe -- Global integrated communications provider Sprint says it is helping "high-bandwidth" enterprise customers in the USA meet their needs for metro-area network monitoring and survivability with the introduction of Sprint Optical Networking Solutions (SONS).

16 September 2003 Overland KA -- Global integrated communications provider
says it is helping "high-bandwidth" enterprise customers in the USA meet their needs for metro-area network monitoring and survivability with the introduction of Sprint Optical Networking Solutions (SONS).

SONS is an end-to-end managed solution that connects multiple metro locations via private ring-based networks while providing enterprise customers with high-speed, direct connectivity to the entire Sprint network.

It is said to provide customers a scalable metro-area optical transport solution that integrates with existing network investments. This can reduce costs associated with fixed lease lines and is backed by comprehensive service level agreements that reach closer to the customer site. Sprint plans to make SONS available across the USA, with a focus on 12 major US markets in 2003.

The 12 markets are New York City, Dallas, San Francisco, Chicago, Kansas City, Seattle, Houston, Minneapolis, St. Louis, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Reston, Virginia.

SONS is based on Nortel Networks' optical broadband services portfolio, including Nortel Networks OPTera Metro 3000 and OPTera Metro 5000 Multiservice Platforms that support next generation SONET/DWDM. These enable the delivery of services that address enterprise requirements for secure, highly reliable Ethernet and storage connectivity. As part of a strategic alliance announced March 2002, Sprint and Nortel Networks are jointly marketing and selling SONS.

"SONS is an ideal managed solution for large enterprises that require large amounts of bandwidth to do business and that may be concerned about the reliability and security of their data over the last mile," said Randy Ritter, vice president of product/portfolio management at Sprint. "Sprint is providing a secure, redundant and self-healing optical-based networking option for customers that are looking to reduce their dependence on incumbent local providers.

"Many times, the companies interested in end-to-end solutions involving fewer providers are in bandwidth-intensive industries, so Sprint is seeing marked interest in SONS from vertical segments like government, finance, insurance and healthcare."

Maintaining and backing up critical business data is paramount for corporate operations, and with federal regulations looming for certain vertical segments, minimum requirements for the storage and recovery of sensitive data soon may be mandatory. To aid companies in deploying their data replication, business continuity and disaster recovery plans, SONS supports the major storage area networking (SAN) protocols, as well as traditional voice, data and Ethernet services.

SONS also gives enterprise customers the flexibility to choose Dense Wave Division Multiplexing (DWDM), Synchronous Optical Network (SONET) or a combination of both as the underlying transport technology, and is able to carry voice, data, video and multimedia traffic over a single, dedicated fiber pair at speeds up to 320 gigabits per second (Gbps).

Steve Schilling, president, Enterprise Accounts, Nortel Networks, says, "SONS is another way we can provide enterprises with industry leading optical capabilities that are part of our enterprise portfolio, designed to deliver reliable, secure and scalable networking solutions.

"By giving our customers networking choices, we are helping them to better engage their customers, partners, suppliers and employees with opportunities to drive increased revenue, reduced costs, enhanced customer service, and increased productivity � all consistent with our 'One network. A world of choice.' enterprise vision."

'One network. A world of choice.' is about raising the bar with a new level of customer and employee engagement no matter where and how the network is accessed while offering enterprises the power of choice in deployment options through leading solutions in IP Telephony, applications, data and optical networking.

Sprint announced in March that it has deployed Metro Area Network (MAN) rings in 25 U.S. markets and plans to build-out to more than 30 cities by mid-2004.

The MAN ring architecture being deployed in all the markets is designed to provide self-healing capabilities during the two major causes of telecom route failures � fiber cuts and electronic outages. Since 1996, Sprint has reported the fewest number of FCC-reportable long-distance outages of its major competitors every year.

In March 2002, Sprint and Nortel Networks announced that they joined forces to combine the network and managed services expertise of Sprint with the voice and data equipment expertise of Nortel Networks to deliver next-generation telephony solutions.

By combining their complementary resources, Sprint and Nortel Networks work together in sales and marketing efforts and in developing product solutions, including all aspects from engineering to maintenance. The end result is turn-key converged solutions for customers that can enhance business performance to sustain a competitive edge.

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