Bank of America’s Big Technology Boost

Bank of America has officially hit the 21st Century with a
contract announced Wednesday by Sprint officials.

The 10-year deal basically revamps the financial organization’s entire
network, which until today ran on OC-3 network pipes throughout its banking
subsidiaries located throughout the U.S.

According to David Gunasegaram, a Sprint spokesperson, the deal is more
than just a typical network upgrade.

“This is a brand new network they’re buying into,” he said.

Bank of America is leasing 27 OC-48 lines throughout the U.S. and
colocating at Sprint’s 13 data centers, which means the company will be
able to put in equipment (i.e., servers) that boost customer services to
its 28 million customers.

The boost from OC-3 to OC-48 is big one, in terms of network speed an
capacity. Gunasegaram said an OC-3 can handle 2,016 simultaneous analog
phone calls; an OC-48 transfers 32,256 simultaneous phone calls.

The company has more than 4,400 banking center, call centers and
data-processing facilities throughout the country, as well as 12,000
ATMs. While officials will certainly expand its services as a result of
such a big network upgrade, they’ve already got immediate plans to provide
color and sound to its ATMs.

“Our commitment to continually offer our customers the most innovative
products and services to meet all of their financial needs — like talking
ATMs and digital check imaging — places larger demands on our
communications network,” said Don Obert, Bank of America technology
services executive, in a statement today.

Sprint uses dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM) optical
technology to boost the performance of its nationwide network. Called
“lightwave services” by its executives, the technology enhanced by Sprint’s
Advanced Technology Laboratories technicians can give OC-48 networks speeds
around 400 Gb/s.

DWDM has become a popular fiber-optic technology among carriers in recent
years. It is protocol and bit-rate independent, so carrier’s can sell to
companies who use any number of network architectures, whether it’s IP,
asynchronous transfer mode (ATM), synchronous optical network (SONET) or
Ethernet.

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