Sprint (Overland Park, KS) announced progress to drive the full capabilities of its all-digital, fiber-optic network deeper into the metro areas of more than 30 U.S. cities before mid-2004.
The company has deployed 17 markets with metropolitan area network (MAN) rings in its service footprint, enhancing network monitoring capabilities and improving network reliability to customers in those markets.
MANs are established in markets where customer demand for network quality and survivability is the highest, inlcuding Chicago; Columbus, OH; Dallas; Houston; Kansas City; Los Angeles; Newark; New York; Oklahoma City; Orlando; Philadelphia; Portland; Raleigh, NC.; St. Louis; San Francisco; Van Buren, AK; and Washington, DC.
The MAN ring architecture being deployed in all the markets is designed to provide self-healing capabilities during two major causes of telecom route failures--fiber cuts and electronic outages. Since 1996, Sprint has reported the fewest numbers of FCC-reportable long-distance network outages among the top three carriers each year. The FCC requires that carriers report all outages that block at least 90,000 calls during an event that lasts at least 30 minutes.
"Metro rings had been a missing piece of the Sprint network, but this initiative will help the carrier in a number of ways," says Ron Kaplan, research manager at International Data Corp (IDC--Framingham, MA). "Owning or having long-term dark fiber leases gives Sprint more control over its own costs, as well as more control over its customers' experience. Sprint and many of its business customers will benefit."
The MAN high-speed rings connect the Sprint fiber-optic backbone to local exchange carrier end offices, as well as to points-of-presence (PoPs), where long distance and incumbent local exchange carriers (ILECs) typically exchange traffic. In many cases, Sprint also is connecting the MAN rings to personal communication service (PCS) mobile switching centers, which route wireless calls to PCS customers of Sprint.