BellSouth Soups Up Services

BellSouth has deployed Cisco’s 7600 router series
to boost its Ethernet service offerings for its business
customers, the companies announced today.

Cisco regularly competes with vendors such as Juniper Networks
and Nortel Networks for business from
service providers. And while BellSouth considered other vendors, according to Todd Smith, the company’s spokesman,
it settled on Cisco because of its “strong enterprise market visibility and the
ability to meet our requirements.”

Cisco’s 7600 router series handles such high-bandwidth tasks as connecting data
and storage systems; transferring medical and technical images and video;
and Voice over Internet Protocol .

These services will be available initially in Atlanta, Miami, New Orleans, Jacksonville and Raleigh, with
additional cities being added throughout the year, Smith told
internetnews.com. Specifics of the agreement, such as the value of the contract and other
bidders, were not disclosed.

The products come with Cisco’s Supervisor Engine 720 modules, which boast
switching capacities of 720 Gigabits per second (Gbps) and allow BellSouth
to offer service level agreements (SLAs) covering availability, latency and
time-to-repair.

BellSouth and other telecom carriers are looking to these offerings for
growth as wireless phone service eats into their traditional landline
business.

Cisco also has relationships with AT&T , SBC Communications
and Sprint , all of which revolve around managed
network services. The deals with service providers will differ in their
geographic areas and business models, as well as in the types of services offered.

A Cisco spokeswoman was not immediately available for comment.

This is not the first time Cisco and BellSouth have done business. Last year,
the companies signed a
four-year deal to offer voice and data services in the Southeast.

That agreement included placing Cisco Internet Protocol and optical gear in
BellSouth’s network, thus allowing the carrier to offer virtual private
networks, Metro Ethernet and enhanced SONET services.

The companies also agreed to jointly offer IP telephony, WLANs ,
LAN/WAN and local and long-distance network
transport, equipment, professional services and on-site maintenance and
monitoring.

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