The network of tomorrow will be the fruition of the Concept of OneSM . Customers will have a single environment for their voice and data services. The consolidation of disparate systems into a single platform will produce the efficiency needed to create such an environment. Increased automation of business processes will dramatically reduce recovery time in the event of network failure.
Already, our Voice Over IP (VoIP) services offer a cost-effective convergence of voice and data services, while also providing customers a clear migration path toward future VoIP applications. Meanwhile, the continued development of Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) Data Network will lead to the unified platform that the Concept of One envisions. As the Intelligent Optical Network matures provisioning of new high-speed circuits will occur in a matter of minutes, rather than months.
By making diverse technologies work in harmony, the network of tomorrow will achieve levels of speed and reliability capable of delivering over the Internet such high bandwidth services as video teleconferencing.
Voice over IP (VoIP)
The current focus of VoIP technology is to give customers the benefits of a converged voice and data network. With VoIP, carriers and customers can use just one set of access links and a shared network for both voice and data. Since voice and data often have different peak times of usage, VoIP allows bandwidth to be efficiently shared. Having one network to manage instead of two significantly reduces operating costs.
The ultimate goal of VoIP is to offer our customers a single environment for their voice and data services with new features currently unavailable in the traditional telephone network. This enhanced environment will offer such high bandwidth services as:
- Video teleconferencing
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM) applications integrated with voice services
- Unified Voice Mail and E-mail Messaging
Additionally, the widespread deployment of broadband access to the Internet and the availability of IP based virtual private corporate networks (VPNs) will enable Remote Worker applications where the office environment can easily be replicated at home or while traveling.
Intelligent Optical Network
The nationwide Intelligent Optical Network, which AT&T deployed in early 2002, will significantly improve the capabilities of AT&T network users by combining speed with intelligence. The Optical transmission of data provides the network with its speed. The intelligence of the network comes from the use of Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing (DWDM) technology and Intelligent Optical Switches.
DWDM increases bandwidth by assigning incoming optical signals to specific frequencies within a designated frequency band and then multiplexing the resulting signals out onto the fiber. Intelligent Optical Switches enable quick recovery from network failure and automatic provisioning. These switches have this capability because each one has a comprehensive map of all available routes across the network and can automatically reroute traffic when needed. Eventually, rather than asking our customers to wait months for a high-speed circuit to be provisioned, we will be able to provide bandwidth on demand through "point-and-click provisioning."
Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) Data Network
The MPLS data network is the foundation for the implementation of the Concept of One — the consolidation of disparate systems into a unified platform. MPLS allows for the marriage of IP to layer two technologies (such as ATM) by overlaying a protocol on top of IP networks. MPLS will move all data into a single network.
Transporting data over a single network will increase the velocity of data transmission in two ways. First, the path that much of the data will need to travel will be shortened. Second, the redundancies inherent in maintaining multiple parallel systems will be eliminated, increasing the overall efficiency of data transport.