Sprint Speeds Into Metro

Launches high-bandwidth optical services with Nortel gear in 12 metro markets

September 17, 2003

2 Min Read
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Sprint Corp. (NYSE: FON) today launched its first high-bandwidth managed services for business customers wanting to link data centers within metro areas.

Called Sprint Optical Networking Solutions (SONS), the new offerings -- based on Nortel Networks Corp. (NYSE/Toronto: NT) optical gear -- connect multiple metro locations via private ring-based networks at speeds up to 320 Gbit/s. The services provide either DWDM (dense wavelength-division multiplexing) or Sonet networks, and handle Ethernet as well as storage networking protocols like Fibre Channel, Ficon, and Escon (see Sprint Debuts Metro SAN Service).

"We haven't had the metro service before," says Mike McRoberts, director of access product management for Sprint Business. "Now we're able to provide optical connectivity between a customer's primary data center and remote center."

While Sprint plans to eventually make SONS available nationwide, it's first focusing on 12 major U.S. markets: Atlanta ; Chicago; Dallas; Houston; Kansas City, Mo.; Los Angeles; Minneapolis; New York; Reston, Va.; St. Louis; San Francisco; and Seattle.

"The reality is it's not limited to those 12 areas," says McRoberts. "We just think we have a wealth of capabilities in those 12."Sprint believes it will find the most interest for the SONS services among enterprises that are interested in backing up critical business data. In particular, it sees an opportunity to provide optical MAN connectivity services for financial organizations, which are being forced to comply with new U.S. regulations passed after the 9/11 terrorist attacks (see Feds Set DR Regulations).

"One of the key drivers for this in New York, Chicago, and San Francisco, is the big financials, which are really looking at their business continuity options -- and they're looking for real-time data mirroring capabilities," says Jim Ortbals, Sprint's optical product manager.

In March 2003, Sprint announced that it had deployed MAN rings in 25 U.S. markets and that it planned to build out to more than 30 cities by mid-2004. The carrier says the MAN ring architecture it's deploying is designed to provide self-healing capabilities during the two major causes of telecom route failures: fiber cuts and electric outages.

Todd Spangler, US Editor, Byte and Switch

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