Sprint moves to packet-switch network

Sprint is to change its entire circuit-switched telephone network to packet technology in an attempt to keep up with customer...

Sprint is to change its entire circuit-switched telephone network to packet technology in an attempt to keep up with customer demand for capacity.

Sprint's eight million lines will be moved over to the packet-based asynchronous transfer mode (ATM) system, allowing voice, video and data to be broken down into small digital blocks and sent, in effect, simultaneously.

This allows the network to be used more efficiently, and will also allow new multimedia services, Sprint said.

Sprint is the first major telecoms company to move all of its local, tandem and long-distance networks over to packet technology, according to Nortel Networks spokeswoman Ann Fuller.

Nortel is managing the changeover, taking responsibility for delivery, installation and testing the new equipment. Sprint hoped to see a 30% reduction in operating costs after the changeover.

Gillian Law writes for IDG News Services

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