C&W Optus, Jtec ignite ATM bandwidth war

C&W Optus and telco equipment provider Jtec are chasing new ATM customers in the wide area networking space, claiming they have started a bandwidth war.

The industry partners are targeting wide area networking users with inter-office bandwidth needs below 2Mbps, a market not currently exploited by competitors such as Telstra.

The combined Optus public ATM service and Jtec ATM product offering enables users to achieve bandwidth speeds up to three times faster than existing frame relay and ISDN services for the same cost, the companies' executives report.

Phil Smith, Jtec's business development manager, said no other carrier is yet offering services for the "sub-2Mbit" ATM bandwidth market, at competitive rates.

"This is a serious bandwidth war," Smith said, claiming the C&W Optus/Jtec solution is up to 40 per cent cheaper than existing ATM services.

"We don't know exactly how far and how hard Telstra would chase it," added Stewart Snell, Jtec's business development manager.

According to Jtec, the Optus Multinet ATM variable bit rate costs start at $50,000 a megabit a year. The constant bit rate pricing starts at $60,000 a year. Jtec claims this is half the cost of a Telstra Mega-Link at $120,000 a year.

Under the new arrangement, Optus will supply users with the ATM connection, while Jtec will deliver and install the equipment, based on its InterXchange J7000 switch.

The two companies began to seriously develop the project in September 1998. BT (British Telecom) is reportedly using a similar service in the UK, but no local customers have yet been announced.

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