News Release

Cisco and AT&T Expand Network Options with Multiprotocol Label Switching Technology

More Information about Cisco IP + ATM Solutions More
Apr 06, 1999

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- April 6, 1999 -- Cisco Systems, Inc. today announced that AT&T will use Cisco's IP+ATM solutions to deliver New World business services that help meet customers' needs for expanded network options. These services will be based on Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) technology.

With the deployment of Cisco's IP+ATM switches, AT&T's IP-Enabled Frame Relay feature will employ standards-based MPLS to enable customers to establish Quality of Service (QoS) priorities for traffic within an IP virtual private network (VPN). AT&T is the first U.S. company to announce a product using the MPLS standard. The new deployment will fully interoperate with AT&T's existing Cisco-based Frame Relay network, providing a multiservice network based on ATM that will deliver IP and Frame services to the user.

"Cisco is using open standards like MPLS in delivering the advanced IP capabilities service providers need to grow their markets, revenues, and profits," said Chris Nicoll, principal analyst with Current Analysis. "By integrating MPLS into their software, Cisco brings an industry-leading set of advanced IP capabilities to their broad service provider portfolio of routers and ATM switches."

AT&T IP-Enabled Frame Relay addresses two critical business-networking needs: any-to-any connectivity and QoS. It answers both needs, providing the reliability of frame relay and the ubiquity of IP, and makes it easy to integrate the two. This new capability also simplifies routing, and provides a single, universal port in the AT&T network, giving customers easy access via simple, logical connections. AT&T customers with existing frame relay service simply add a permanent virtual circuit (PVC), and avoid the time-consuming task of a major network upgrade.

"AT&T continues to deliver services that keep our customers at the forefront of technology and gives their networks a competitive edge," said Bruce Tanzi, AT&T High Speed Packet Services Infrastructure Planning and Deployment. "By using MPLS technology in our services, we're helping our customers to implement exciting new IP business applications."

"We are delighted to provide AT&T with an easily deployable IP+ATM solution that enables them to deploy these New World services," said Brad Wurtz, vice president and general manager of Cisco's Multiservice Switching Business Unit. "These services help to meet the customer's increasing need for additional network options."

MPLS is based on Cisco's Tag Switching, a new IETF standard for IP service delivery. MPLS labels provide the ability to differentiate service classes for individual data flows. MPLS labels work like address labels on packages in an express delivery system. Cisco is leading the industry in delivering MPLS-based solutions that enable New World services, such as virtual private networks (VPNs) with quality of service. Cisco defines New World services as those that are Web-based, network enabled and provide the customer with greater control of the communications experience.

About AT&T

AT&T is a leading provider of data services, offering private line, frame relay, ISDN, ATM and IP services to more than 160 countries worldwide. AT&T serves more than 80 million customers, including consumers, businesses and government. The company has annual revenues of more than $52 billion and 110,000 employees. It runs the world's largest, most sophisticated communications network and is the leading provider of long-distance, data transport and wireless services.