British Telecom and its partner in Concert, MCI, has announced the global deployment of ATM as it prepares to offer commercial worldwide services.
The companies are currently deploying ATM switches in 13 countries, including the UK, US, Netherlands, France, Germany, Sweden, Australia and Japan.
ATM will provide the BT and MCI alliance with the means of incorporating multimedia applications, which are a mix of voice, data and video services, into a single high speed network.
Concert plans to roll out ATM-based solutions in three steps. The first phase of the commercial ATM service between the UK and the US will begin in early 1997. This will follow beta-testing later this year, when the two companies extend their national ATM services - BT Cellstream and MCI Hyperstream ATM - to offer a bilateral ATM service. Later in 1997, the services will be expanded to more countries under the Concert portfolio of global managed services. The last phase will be for Concert to offer end-to-end ATM services with multiple options for access methods, based on versatile end-user equipment and service gateways. This will enable customers to establish seamless services with higher functionality and service levels. Paul Erskine of Concert said: ?ATM will form the basis of a high speed, global broadband telecommunications network on which all future Concert global communications services will eventually be offered.? Stephen Von Rump, MCI?s vice president of Enterprise Marketing, said: ?Companies are looking for ways to transmit multimedia applications on a global basis. In fact, the global ATM market is expected to double and double again in the next several years.? ATM allows companies to expand broadband capabilities to desktop conferencing, video, three-dimensional graphics, parallel computing and high-resolution video broadcasting. NICK GILBERT
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