The UK's second largest telecomms carrier, Mercury Communications, has launched a new ATM service that will enable business customers to transfer data and images across networks in seconds rather than hours. And Mercury will soon follow arch-rival BT in setting up a trans-Atlantic ATM link.
The service will compete with BT?s Cellstream ATM offering, which this week linked up with MCI?s US-based Hyperstream so that customers can configure circuits between sites in the UK and the US.
The Mercury Datalink ATM service will be available nationally at fixed access speeds of 2Mbps and 34Mbps, and across metropolitan areas at 155Mbps from January 1997. But by the summer of next year Mercury hopes to increase access speed to 155Mbps nationally and 622Mbps across metropolitan areas. In the new year it too will announce a transatlantic link, tying up with a US ATM service run by its parent company Cable & Wireless.
Lance Spencer, manager of data and customised services at Mercury, said: ?Customers can buy an access circuit of two, 34 or 155 megabits but then they can decide how many bit rates they want to commit to. They might have an access circuit for bursts of up to 34Mbps but have a guaranteed bandwidth of only 2Mbps,? he explained.
Mercury Datalink ATM will be offered as a public service, which means tariffs will be filed with Oftel, under Mercury?s PTO licence, so that customers can choose and buy data services in the same way they currently choose voice services. The service will be run over Mercury?s existing Plesiochronous Digital Hierarchy (PDH) transmission system and its new Synchronous Digital Hierarchy (SDH) technology.
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