MCI Launches Ultra Long Haul Technology

The technology, unveiled Monday, will allow MCI to shorten its internal process of provisioning network capacity from months to weeks, resulting in better network optimization and usage. According to Fred Briggs, president of MCI Operations and Technology, the technology ultimately will become the foundation on which all MCI services are delivered.

"As we continue to execute on our IP convergence vision, MCI's ultra long haul deployment signifies a strategic, long-term investment in the future of communications," he said. "We will be the first communications company in the U.S. to deploy and activate the optical network of the future on a broad scale."

As a high-capacity, all-optical network infrastructure, ULH is capable of supporting OC-768 core capacity with transmission speeds up to 40 GBps--four times faster than anything on the market today. The ULH network will allow transmission systems to extend up to 2,000 kilometers without expensive electronic regeneration equipment, eliminating the need for thousands of signal regenerators and reducing the number of physical connections between network elements.

Briggs said that through this implementation, Ashburn, Va.-based MCI will be able to enhance its management of network inventory, and respond more readily to customer need for bandwidth.

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The rapid scalability sets the stage for MCI customers to adopt bandwidth-intensive business applications such as Web services, multimedia content distribution, grid computing, realtime imaging and storage networking. The network also will create a platform for future infrastructure-based services, such as protocol-independent wavelength services that MCI plans to make available later this year.

MCI selected Ciena and Siemens as vendors for the ULH domestic deployment. A spokeswoman noted that the company will encourage channel partners specializing in value-added bandwidth-intensive applications to get involved.