News Release

Sprint Selects Cisco MGX 8800 Wide Area Switch to Enable Interactive On-Demand Network

Next Generation Switch to Deliver Advanced IP+ATM Services to Customers
Jun 09, 1998

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- June 9, 1998 -- Cisco Systems, Inc. today announced that Sprint Communications Company is now testing and plans to deploy Cisco's next-generation multiservice platforms as part of its plan to build the Integrated On-Demand Network (ION).

The new platforms, Cisco MGX 8800 wide-area edge switches, integrate IP and ATM technologies through Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) to enable advanced services such as voice-over IP and IP Virtual Private Networks (VPNs).

Sprint's test and deployment plans represent a significant commitment to Cisco's IP+ATM networking platforms and will enable Sprint to be a leader in delivering innovative IP+ATM and multimedia services. ION will provide businesses and consumers with virtually unlimited bandwidth for simultaneous data, voice, and video services. A household or business will be able to conduct multiple phone calls, receive faxes, run advanced multimedia applications, and use the Internet through a single connection with unprecedented speed on a pay-as-you-go basis.

A Perfect Partnership for Leading-Edge Services

"By making Cisco's multiservice platform part of the Sprint ION architecture, Sprint can offer the industry's first and only end-to-end integrated solution - giving business customers fast, reliable, secure and simultaneous exchange of all-distance voice, data, fax and Internet through a single connection," said Don Hallacy, senior vice president of next-generation networks at Sprint. "Because of the unique capabilities that Sprint ION can deliver, businesses will realize the full potential of information technology throughout their enterprise and beyond."

Cisco's IP+ATM technology combines industry-leading Cisco IOS. software with carrier-class ATM to give service providers the privacy characteristics and quality of service (QoS) benefits of ATM with the universal connectivity of IP. With an IP+ATM service platform, service providers can protect their investment with revenue-generating services such as Frame Relay, while positioning their networks to deliver innovative IP-based services such as VPNs, electronic commerce, and intranet hosting. The MGX 8800 switch will deliver a full set of voice features, including voice over ATM, voice over IP and voice over Frame Relay.

"There is widespread industry agreement that 'old-world' TDM voice networks will give way to packet data networks that essentially enable voice to ride for free," said Charles Corbalis, vice president and general manager for Cisco's WAN Business Unit. "We're proud that Sprint has chosen the Cisco MGX 8800 series as one of the strategic platforms for enabling ION."

Setting New Standards for Service and Cost

Integrating IP and ATM services over a single ATM backbone and provisioning services from a single, powerful edge platform enables Sprint to set a new cost standard. Sprint estimates that the network cost to deliver a typical voice call will drop by more than 70 percent. Customers will be able to have reliable, unlimited bandwidth for about the same monthly price that they pay today for communication services.

New Platforms for a New Networking World

The MGX 8800 wide-area switch represents the next generation in high-capacity WAN-edge switches. Featuring the industry's widest breadth of service interfaces, the MGX 8800 wide-area switch enables service providers to deliver a complete portfolio of differentiated service offerings while scaling from DS0 to OC-48c/STM-16 speeds. The MGX 8800 platform also provides the lowest-cost edge infrastructure for volume services such as Frame Relay by reducing the entry cost and surpassing the port densities of competitive solutions.

The MGX 8800 series will seamlessly integrate with Sprint's existing ATM backbone network which provides the speed, flexible bandwidth, scalability, and quality of service required for the new generation of services. This will enable ION customers to enjoy robust voice, data, video, and Internet services while giving Sprint the ability to customize multiple services and provide on-demand access. The MGX 8800 wide-area switch also integrates with all standards-based customer premises equipment, enabling Sprint to easily integrate ION with its business customers' networks.

ION service for business is expected to become available in mid-1999, with consumer-level service available by late 1999.

Cisco Systems

Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) is the worldwide leader in networking for the Internet. News and information are available at

For more information visit Cisco PR Contacts


MGX is a trademark and Cisco, Cisco IOS, Cisco Systems, and the Cisco Systems logo are registered trademarks of Cisco Systems, Inc. in the U.S. and certain other countries. All other trademarks mentioned in this document are the property of their respective owners.