Lucent adds edginess to older multiservice gear

As expected, Lucent Technologies Inc. this week unveiled enhancements to its older multiservice switches designed to increase service capacity for frame relay, IP (Internet Protocol) and ATM (Asynchronous Transfer Mode).

The upgrades are intended to enable service providers to derive more revenue from the network edge following last month's introduction of the TMX 880 MPLS (Multiprotocol Label Switching) core switch. The enhancements were anticipated after a Lucent internal memo was obtained by Network World in which the company apparently admitted neglecting the multiservice edge while developing the ill-fated MSC 25000 core ATM switch, which was killed before it ever shipped.

The extensions, available now, for the CBX 500 and GX 550 multiservice switches include:

A three-port channelized DS-3 ATM inverse multiplexing module offering a tenfold increase in the number of T-1 ATM ports on the CBX 500A 32-port channelized E-1 card providing an eightfold increase in the number of frame relay and IP services ports available on the CBX 500Software features such as multilink frame relay, which enables carriers to offer bundled bandwidth services to enterprises so they can logically multiplex several lower-speed circuits into a higher-speed virtual trunkAn ATM module on the GX 550 that offers a fourfold increase in the number of permanent virtual circuits to support more end users for high-bandwidth DSL and cable applicationsA new GX 550 node processor that provides a fourfold increase in processing power to support larger, more complex networksLucent has also enhanced the switches' MXOS operating system software to support the new hardware and bolster switch reliability. Some of the new reliability features include improvements in fault management and manual and automatic service recovery.

The enhancements are currently in use at service providers KPN in Europe and Embratel in Brazil.

KPN is extending its current ATM network with additional GX 550 switches and the new circuit cards. KPN also is upgrading the GX 550 operating system software -- MXOS -- for increased switch reliability and scalability.

Embratel is testing the upgraded MXOS and the new CBX 500 E-1 card.

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