Router Maker Juniper Eyes Asian Internet

HONG KONG (04/03/2000) - A rapid shift toward locally-produced Internet content and local hosting of foreign content is driving demands for increased bandwidth across Asia, executives of Internet backbone router vendor Juniper Networks Inc. said today.

The maker of IP (Internet Protocol) routers for carriers and large ISPs (Internet service providers) is making inroads in Asia against industry giant Cisco Systems Inc., riding a wave of deregulation and the region's Internet boom, executives said in an interview here.

Juniper soon will announce details of a deal with Internet Business Resources Inc. (IBR), an Internet service provider in South Korea, to expand the backbone of its national network to support two major data centers in Seoul, according to Wayne Merrick, Asia-Pacific regional director for Juniper.

The data centers will host an ASP (application service provider) operation run by IBR, as well as other services. IBR plans a third large data center in Pusan, South Korea, for development later, he said.

The router maker, founded in 1998 with funding from a who's who of Cisco competitors, has taken on the network giant with a series of devices designed to forward IP packets at high speed. Last week it began shipments of its M160 router, which offers OC-192c (10G bits per second (bps)) interfaces.

Juniper last week claimed the first Asian deployment of wire-rate OC-192c interfaces at the National Center for Science Information Systems in Japan, which will use the M160 to help transmit data from radio telescopes in Japan to the center's Tokyo headquarters. GTE Corp.'s GTE Internetworking and MCI WorldCom Inc.'s UUNet division in the U.S., as well as Cable & Wireless PLC and KPNQwest in Europe, also will deploy the OC-192c interfaces, the company said.

Although bandwidth in and out of Asian countries is still constrained by regulation and cable capacity, the Internet increasingly is becoming a local phenomenon, Juniper executives said.

"Two years ago, so much of the content was in the U.S. Now a lot of it is here," Merrick said.

As deregulation allows more competitors to build networks, and local content flourishes, Juniper expects to see network capacity continue to grow rapidly in the region.

A key market will be China, where Juniper is providing equipment for a provincial network backbone in Fujian province, Merrick said. The company has also had discussions with incumbent national carrier China Telecom, he added.

If China is admitted to the World Trade Organization and the Internet and telecommunications markets are opened to foreign investment, Juniper expects to see network-building explode.

Today, "The constraint is that if you want to be a (backbone provider) in China, you have to be a government organization," Merrick said. "We expect that with WTO, it'll be a huge green field opportunity."

Worldwide, Juniper has grabbed 16 percent of the backbone router market, said Product Manager James Sugg, quoting figures from market research firm RHK Inc.

The rest essentially belongs to Cisco, he said. Cisco's 12000 series routers currently offer OC-48c (2.5G bps) as the highest-capacity interface.

Advances in DWDM (dense wave-division multiplexing), in which multiple data streams are carried as different colors of light across a fiber, are making OC-192c (10G bps) routing necessary, Sugg said.

"It's DWDM that's really driving the 10-gigabit activity," Sugg said.

Juniper is in Mountain View, California, and can be reached at +1-650-526-8000 or online at http://www.juniper.net.

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