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Industry's first trans-Atlantic MPLS-enabled OC-192 multi-city links activated; Major upgrade first step in global deployment of OC-192 using MPLS


LONDON - December 11, 2001 - Cable & Wireless (LSE:CW; NYSE:CWP), the global telecommunications group, today announced it has activated the industry's first trans-Atlantic OC-192 links using multi-protocol label switching (MPLS) technology connecting seven cities in the US, UK and Europe.

The network upgrade significantly improves the quality of service Cable & Wireless can offer its customers and further reinforces the company's leadership position for providing superior network performance, quality and reach, consistently around the globe, via its tier one global Internet Protocol (IP) backbone.

The first step in a global network upgrade to OC-192 using MPLS, the multi-city IP connections link Washington, DC and New York with London, Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam and Frankfurt. The high speed connections support the unique network performance and Quality of Service (QoS) requirements of large scale Internet content providers in particular, as well as providing sufficient scale to keep Cable & Wireless ahead of increasing demand for IP services.

"This is an important milestone for Cable & Wireless and the industry in making the Internet the real industrial strength communications infrastructure our customers need and expect," said Andy Macleod, executive vice president, Operations, Cable & Wireless. "With this network enhancement, Cable & Wireless continues to lead the industry with the largest single tier one global network that is capable of delivering the highest quality service on a global scale and is designed to support significant growth in new IP-based communications services."

MPLS technology allows Cable & Wireless to provide customers with a business quality Internet service to support all their applications and content - even those time critical and mission critical services that they would not consider transmitting over other best effort Internet backbones.

~ Large-scale Internet content providers need high quality network connections required to link the servers hosting their content with their target market users. European content providers also benefit as they need to link their customers to web sites in the US.

~ Global ISPs are dependent on the quality of the IP backbone to deliver quality services to their own customers. The additional capacity and predictability offered by the upgrade is crucial for maintaining this ability.

~ Large multinational customers looking to operate globally require extra capacity and predictability, consistency and global quality to keep them ahead of the curve in terms of offering services to their customers and linking their own operations.

"Cable & Wireless is in the process of moving aggressively from what was once a traditional telephone network to a multi-service, multi-technology data network based on IP and MPLS," said Liz McPhillips, analyst at Probe Research. "It has moved out of the consumer business, selling off its mobile and cable television properties, and has become one of the world's largest and most successful global Tier 1 carriers."

MPLS provides a more predictable performance for all traffic, be it voice, data or video, ensuring very low packet delay together with virtually no packet loss and very low jitter even as the network continues to grow. Cable & Wireless regularly achieves the industry's lowest latency and packet loss and highest reliability ratings, nationally, regionally and globally, according to independent analyst Matrix.Net (http://www.ratings.matrix.net).


Network architecture

Cable & Wireless' global IP network is based on a core traffic engineering platform using Juniper Networks' M160 MPLS routers, providing switching functions at 10 Gbps. This provides a scalable, reliable and more economic transport core for individual services, such as IP transit, hosting, content delivery services including streaming media by recognising and supporting their different QoS and Class of Service (CoS) requirements.

With this network architecture, Cable & Wireless is able to:

~ Provide a significantly higher QoS for different services, by prioritizing the management of IP traffic across the network and by providing routing arrangements specifically tailored to the needs of its customers.

~ Offer high capacity OC-48/STM-16 IP access services to customers on both sides of the Atlantic.

~ Scale the network to handle the anticipated increase in Internet traffic in the US and Europe. Cable & Wireless traffic has been growing at 125 per cent per annum on average. According to Telegeography (October 30, 2001) New York, London, Amsterdam and Paris are the world's top four Internet hub cities (all nodes on Cable & Wireless infrastructure).

~ Optimally restore network traffic and minimise service disruptions in the event of major network disruptions.

The achievement represents a further important milestone in Cable & Wireless' delivery of a single, high performance global IP infrastructure extending seamlessly across North America, Europe and Asia Pacific and represents the completion of the bulk of its global network build programme:

North America

- Canada

- USA


Europe

- UK

- Belgium

- Denmark

- Finland

- France

- Germany

- Italy

- Netherlands

- Norway

- Sweden

- Switzerland



Asia-Pacific

- Japan

- Australia


Through Cable & Wireless' single autonomous system (AS) network design, Internet traffic on the Cable & Wireless' global IP network passes across a single network, rather than 'hopping' across a number of regional networks, as it would with other networks, enabling Cable & Wireless to provide faster service, with greater quality of service and reliability.


About Cable & Wireless

Cable & Wireless is a major global telecommunications business with revenue of over £9 billion (US$14 billion) in the year to 31 March 2000 and customers in 70 countries. Cable & Wireless' focus for future growth is on IP (Internet Protocol) and data services and solutions for business customers. It is developing advanced IP networks and value-added services in the US, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region in support of this strategy. With the capability of its global IP infrastructure and its strength in key markets, Cable & Wireless holds a unique position in terms of global coverage and services to business customers.

For more information about Cable & Wireless, go to http://www.cw.com



Cable & Wireless and the Globe Device are registered trademarks of Cable and Wireless plc.


Media Contacts


Nicola Porter
Cable & Wireless (UK)
Tel: +44 (0)20 7315 4031
Email: nicola.march@cw.com

David Thain
Cable & Wireless (UK)
Tel: +44 (0)20 7315 2977
Email: david.thain@cw.com


Chad Couser
Cable & Wireless (US)
Tel: +1 703 760 3845
Email: chad.couser@cw.com


Industry Analyst Contact
Tara Salgado
Cable & Wireless
Tel: +44 (0)20 7315 4814
Email: tara.salgado@cw.com
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