News Release

Cable & Wireless and Cisco Systems Trial IP-VPN Service with Hongkong Telecom

Cable & Wireless Website More information about Cisco
Mar 23, 1999

LONDON, UK -- March 23, 1999 -- Cable & Wireless and Cisco Systems today announced a joint trial of an IP-VPN (Internet Protocol-Virtual Private Network) service based on IP QoS (Quality of Service) and MPLS (Multi-Protocol Label Switching) technology. This trial represents an extension to Cable & Wireless' recent IP-VPN service announcement, designed to build a more scalable and manageable solution for business customers. The initial phase of this trial is taking place with Hongkong Telecom but this capability will be extended to a global service later this year.

MPLS is a technology designed to improve the performance, manageability and scalability of IP networks. It is one of the key technologies that will deliver the next phase of IP network infrastructures. Initially, the trial involves the implementation of Tag Switching protocol technology, pioneered by Cisco, and a variety of Cisco switching/routing hardware in the core and access layers. (For more information see technical note to authors)

"IP-VPN and differentiated QoS are key building blocks for future IP services. The objective of this trial is to demonstrate how MPLS can make IP-VPN and QoS provisioning more cost effective. The outcome of the trial will enable Cable & Wireless to enhance its IP service portfolio to meet growing customer needs," said Chris Gare, director of network and services, group technology, Cable & Wireless.

Comments Dr K.H. Cheng, director of products, Hongkong Telecom, "We see IP-VPN as a strategic asset for e-commerce where security is required for Intranet and Extranet products. Conventional router based VPN would take significant provisioning effort and could be an expensive infrastructure for e-commerce applications with a large number of extranet connections. IP QoS and policy-based provisioning are key elements in enabling emerging IP Services."

"By conducting this trial, Cisco will enable Cable & Wireless to quickly deploy the advanced IP services customers needed if they are to gain true competitive advantage in the developing business environment. This trial represents a closer working relationship between Cisco, the world wide leader in networking for the Internet and Cable & Wireless, one of the premier global providers of IP services," said Paul Mountford, vice president, Cisco Systems UK and Ireland operations.

C&W will test various planned IP service offerings across the infrastructure.

About Cable & Wireless

Cable & Wireless is one of the world's leading providers of integrated communications and a major global carrier of communications traffic: Internet, data, voice and video. Its business around the world offer a range of services spanning interactive entertainment and information, broadband data, Internet access and broadcast television, as well as fixed and mobile voice. With 17 million customers in 70 countries, Cable & Wireless is one of the world's largest carriers of international traffic, provides mobile communications in more than 30 countries and operates the world's largest, most advanced cableship fleet.

Technical Note to Authors:

The trial will test Tag VPNs (i.e. creating VPNs without using tunnels) with various combinations of access and core transport mechanisms. The trial will also include TAG extranet and Internet, TAG QoS and high speed optical core technology up to OC-48 speeds with some trunks running Dynamic Packet Transport (i.e. no Frame or ATM transport in the core).

Tag Switching is a software solution for the integration of Layer 3 routing (network layer) and Layer 2 switching (data link layer) within the core network of the Internet. Tag switching software can run on standard ATM switches and GigaSwitch Routers to provide seamless IP Internet services on high speed switching infrastructures.

Cisco Systems

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