News Release

Sprint's Boost to OC-48 Raises the Bar on Network Speeds

400 Percent Increase Gives Sprint World's Fastest Internet
Aug 24, 1998

400 Percent Increase Gives Sprint World's Fastest Internet Backbone

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- August 24, 1998 -- Sprint Corp. today announced that it plans to significantly boost the transmission speed and bandwidth of its Internet backbone to OC-48 (2.5 gigabits per second, Gbps) the fastest type of backbone service available.

The upgrade from OC-12 (622 megabits per second) will dramatically increase Sprint's bandwidth by more than 400 percent. One OC-48 connection could support more than 175,000 dial-up users sending and receiving files at the same time. The OC-48 route will be deployed between Fort Worth, Texas, and Kansas City, Mo. Further installations are planned on an ongoing basis throughout the Sprint network.

This service enhancement promises to meet consumer demands for fast, reliable performance over the Sprint Internet backbone. With data moving at 2.5 Gbps over the Sprint fiber optic network, business users will have reliable and higher speed connectivity to expand their operations globally in such emerging applications as Internet commerce.

At the core of Sprint's upgrade are the deployments of Cisco Systems, Inc.'s 12000 series Gigabit Switch Routers (GSRs) and CIENA Corporation's dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM) technology. Cisco and CIENA have recently combined forces in IP over DWDM technology to develop a high-capacity optical IP backbone. This high-speed deployment by Sprint ties Cisco 12000 series GSRs directly to CIENA's long-haul DWDM systems to create an expanded optical layer to its all-digital, all-fiber network. The Cisco 12000 series GSRs will interface directly into CIENA's DWDM system interfaces at 2.5 Gbps, without the need for additional intermediate network elements such as SONET terminal multiplexers.

"To keep pace with the rapid growth of data traffic, Sprint continues its pursuit of utilizing and pioneering network core infrastructures specifically optimized for data," said Marty Kaplan, Sprint's senior vice president and chief technology officer. "IP over DWDM is a technological capability that allows Sprint to substantially increase the data load on its existing fiber in a very efficient manner."

IP directly over DWDM fiber demonstrates Sprint's ability to blend its superior fiber and IP network into one integrated network. In addition, IP over DWDM capability in Sprint's core network complements its recently announced Sprint Integrated On-demand Network (ION) that will provide broadband delivery of integrated voice, video and data. "The integration of Sprint ION and our high-speed network will result in the delivery of a new model of telecommunications services," added Kaplan.

The Cisco 12000 series GSRs were initially deployed by Sprint last September when it boosted its Internet backbone speed from OC-3 to OC-12. The Cisco 12000 series meets the exponential growth in demand for Internet bandwidth and brings scalability and high-performance services to IP-based networks. Designed to meet current and future Internet traffic requirements, the Cisco 12000 series laid the groundwork for a series of new service announcements from Sprint including Web Hosting, Remote Access, and the industry's most aggressive ISP service level agreements (SLAs).

"The business community has made the Internet its playing field for networked commerce and virtual storefronts, creating the need for higher-bandwidth connections to the Internet," said Graeme Fraser, vice president and general manager of Cisco's Optical Internetworking Business Unit. "Sprint's deployment of this advanced network validates Cisco's optical internetworking strategy, where IP is carried directly over the optical layer to provide the most efficient and robust networking capability."

Based in Linthicum, Maryland, CIENA Corporation is a worldwide market leader of open-architecture, dense wavelength division multiplexing systems for long-distance and local exchange carriers. CIENA's DWDM solutions include the MultiWave. 1600 and 4000 long-haul transport systems, WaveWatcher. network management software, the MultiWave Optical Add/Drop Multiplexer, the MultiWave Sentry enhanced long-distance transport system and the new MultiWave Firefly and MultiWave Metro short-haul systems. Through its Alta subsidiary, based in Norcross, Ga., CIENA provides a range of engineering, furnishing and installation services for telecommunications service providers in the areas of transport, switching and wireless communication.

Sprint continues its industry leadership in bringing new and enhanced services to residential and business customers. Sprint recently was cited as first for its industry-leading data services, strong customer service and value added perks by Data Communications magazine. The annual survey asked corporate data users to rate long distance carriers on network performance, customer service and value-added perks. This year's results show that Sprint leads all competitors in the customer service arena, while moving ahead of the competition in the value-added and technical service categories of frame relay and Internet access.

Sprint is a global communications company - at the forefront in integrating long distance, local and wireless communications services and the world's largest carrier of Internet traffic. Sprint built and operates the United States' only nationwide all-digital, fiber-optic network and is the leader in advanced data communication services. Sprint has $15 billion in annual revenues and serves more than 16 million business and residential customers.

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