RealTime IT News

Nortel Introduces IP Aware Frame Relay

Nortel Networks has launched IP Aware Frame Relay, a technology that provides an integrated solution for carriers and providers who have to deal with many different IP-based applications.

The new service from Nortel not only supports IP traffic over Frame Relay but is also Quality of Service (QoS) compliant. It will enable service providers to differentiate both the content which they distribute and the quality of service which they offer.

"IP Aware Frame Relay is Nortel Networks' response to the obvious needs of a European communications market which is in a state of constant flux," said Malcolm Collins, managing director of Nortel Networks' European Internet Solutions division.

"From experience we know that service providers must cope with networks that are constantly 'morphing' to support not only IP but also a wide range of other technologies and protocols."

Nortel's IP Aware Frame Relay uses a signalling interface called SMILE (Smart Management Interface Local Exchange) which can set new Permanent Virtual Circuit (PVC) parameters automatically. SMILE has been beta tested by Spanish BT subsidiary, BT Telecomunicaciones (BT TEL).

"Customers are becoming more sophisticated and want more from their Frame Relay service suppliers," added Collins.

"Today's customer will rigorously enforce service level agreements and will not accept excuses for a downturn in service quality."

Over the next three years, the number of Frame Relay ports is set to more than double in Europe, according to a recent report ("Broadband Industry Update 1999") from Vertical Systems Group.

One of the major players in the global Internet industry, Nortel Networks had 1998 revenues of $17.6 billion.