C&W building a new global IP network

Cable and Wireless PLC Wednesday inked a deal with Cisco Systems Inc. to speed the buildout of a new global private IP (Internet Protocol) network.

Cable & Wireless is using Cisco gear throughout its private IP network to support VPN (virtual private network), voice-over-IP and video-over-IP services. The agreement includes co-marketing and selling arrangements. Cisco and its value-added resellers (VAR) will offer the carrier's IP Convergence services when they become available in the second quarter.

The network will run parallel to the carrier's public IP network, using Cisco 12000 and 10000 series routers at the core and 7000 series routers at the edge to support multiple classes of service using Multi-protocol Label Switching (MPLS).

The network also uses the IETF's RFC 2547 specification, which stipulates how carriers support MPLS-based VPNs. Cable & Wireless has been talking about offering MPLS VPN services since late last year.

A typical node will include two Cisco 12000 routers, a Catalyst 6500 router and several Cisco 7500 routers. Cable & Wireless says it's using existing fiber to support the network and will not need any new fiber to support the deployment.

The first phase of the network will be deployed in the U.S. in June in seven cities. Although the network and initial services are slated for availability in less than two months, Cable & Wireless would not reveal which network nodes will first be deployed. Nor would the carrier say how many nodes would be deployed by year-end.

Cable & Wireless did say this is a global network deployment that will include nodes in Europe and Japan. The carrier says its been supporting multiple nodes based on the Cisco gear in the U.K. for over a year.

In conjunction with Cisco, Cable & Wireless is developing global end-to-end converged voice and data services that will include desktop-to-desktop management. The carrier also says that real-time service-level agreements (SLA) will be available with its service offering. But Cable & Wireless would not detail exactly what its standard SLA would include.

While Cisco and Cable & Wireless do not have a revenue-sharing deal, the carrier says there are "incentives" built in to the agreement for the Cisco sales team and its VARs to sell the IP Convergence services.

The carrier's IP VPN QoS service is expected to be available in June in the U.S. and in Europe and Japan by year end.

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