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C&W and Cisco Trial IP-VPN Service with Hongkong Telecom

Cable & Wireless and Cisco Systems will conduct a trial of an IP-VPN (Internet Protocol-Virtual Private Network) service based on IP QoS (Quality of Service) and MPLS (Multi-Protocol Label Switching) technology.

The initial phase of the trial is taking place with Hongkong Telecom but the capability will be extended to a global service later this year, according to Cisco.

MPLS is a technology designed to improve the performance, manageability and scalability of IP networks and is billeted as one of the key technologies that will deliver the next phase of IP network infrastructures.

Initially, the trial involves the implementation of tag switching protocol technology and a variety of Cisco switching/routing hardware in the core and access layers.

"The objective of this trial is to demonstrate how MPLS can make IP-VPN and QoS provisioning more cost effective," said Chris Gare, director of network and services, group technology, Cable & Wireless. "The outcome of the trial will enable Cable & Wireless to enhance its IP service portfolio to meet growing customer needs."

Dr K.H. Cheng, Hongkong Telecom's director of products commented, "We see IP-VPN as a strategic asset for e-commerce where security is required for intranet and extranet products."

"Conventional router based VPN would take significant provisioning effort and could be an expensive infrastructure for e-commerce applications with a large number of extranet connections," said Cheng. "IP QoS and policy-based provisioning are key elements in enabling emerging IP Services."

"By conducting this trial, Cisco will enable Cable & Wireless to quickly deploy the advanced IP services customers needed if they are to gain true competitive advantage in the developing business environment," said Paul Mountford, vice president, Cisco Systems UK and Ireland operations.