Frame Relay Reaches New Places with Equant

FRAMINGHAM (04/19/2000) - Multinational corporations with locations in countries other than the ones usually targeted by global carriers now have a new frame relay option from international carrier Equant.

The carrier Monday announced that it has recently added 15 countries to its global frame relay net, bringing the total number of countries in which the service is offered to 122.

The countries Equant has added over the last few months include Bahrain, French Guiana, Haiti, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Macao, Macedonia, Nepal, Northern Mariana Islands, Pakistan, Reunion, Uganda, Zaire (now known as the Democratic Republic of the Congo), Zambia and Zimbabwe.

In each of the countries, Equant has installed either the Nortel DPN 100 or the Nortel Passport 6400. Frame relay connections in countries with the DPN 100 switch are limited to T-1 or E-1 access with a maximum committed information rate (CIR), or reserved bandwidth without bursting, of 256K bit/sec. Countries with a Passport switch can offer T-3 access and a CIR up to 25M bit/sec.

In each country, Equant also has either leased trunking capacity, much as an enterprise would with a private line, or signed an indefeasible right of usage (IRU) pact with a transport provider. An IRU reserves bandwidth for the exclusive use of one carrier on a route that another carrier - often a wholesale-only provider - actually constructed.

In some cases, adding the countries to the list also depended on gaining regulatory approval from local authorities, an Equant spokesman says. Many third-world countries are still skittish about allowing carriers other than the state-owned telephone company to provide voice or data services.

Equant is one of the few global carriers to offer a standard data service-level agreement (SLA) that goes beyond simple uptime. In its standard SLA, Equant commits to 99.9% availability - 100% in more-established business centers - with 99.9% data throughput of reserved bandwidth and 95% beyond that level.

More information is available at www.equant.com.

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