BT has activated the first phase of additional multi-protocol label switching (MPLS) nodes to extend its IP backbone in the US, Canada and Mexico.
The move follows on from statements made by the telco in May 2003 when it promised to expand its commercial footprint in the Americas. Phase One of the rollout delivers the first eight of the planned 15 new nodes.
Once all nodes are activated, BT stated that it will own and operate "one of the largest native MPLS networks in the US" and one of the most extensive in the world. BT's MPLS network currently serves about 1,200 customers globally.
Chuck Pol, chief operating officer at BT Americas, indicated that an IP-based network was essential to meet the voice and data needs of customers.
"IP provides an industrial strength broadband network at a much lower cost and more efficiently," he said.
"Corporations are able to think of their whole enterprise as a single global entity, networked together.
"We are seeing significant growth in MPLS across industry sectors, and this technology is becoming core to the success of many of our customers today."
The recently switched on nodes are operational in Washington DC, Miami, Houston, Detroit, Seattle, Denver, Toronto and Mexico City.
In 2004-2005, BT plans to activate additional nodes in St Louis, Tampa, Phoenix, Minneapolis, Cleveland, Cincinnati and Charlotte, bringing the total number to 23.
In conjunction with the rollout, BT is expanding its ICT service offerings for global customers.
Last month at the ITU Telecom 2003 event in Geneva, the firm announced the simultaneous global launch of an expanded set of ICT services in three portfolios: customer relationship management, IT services and mobility.
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