• United States
Managing Editor

Old new kid on the block

Feb 19, 20042 mins

* NTT studies rollout of domestic VPN service in the U.S.

NTT Communications is setting the stage for turning up a domestic, nationwide MPLS VPN service in the U.S. under its NTT America subsidiary.

Japanese telecom giant NTT has been a public company since 1952, and NTT Communications already offers MPLS VPN domestically in Japan, and globally. But multinational customers, including those headquartered in the U.S. and Europe, are pressing the carrier to offer the services domestically in their home countries, making NTT Communications a newcomer to the non-Japanese IP VPN market.

“Demand is building for a domestic (NTT Communications) MPLS VPN in the U.S.,” says Tetsuro Mikami, vice president of the Global Services Business Division of NTT Communications.

MPLS is popular among NTT Communications’ business customers because it gives them better control over intranet bandwidth that’s growing 100% to 200% per year due to Web-based application, broadband access and videoconferencing, Mikami says. NTT Communications launched its “pure” (as opposed to MPLS-enabled frame or ATM) RFC 2547 MPLS VPN service in Japan in June 2000 across its OC-48 and OC-192 IP backbone, and then took the service global in January 2001.

It has 3,000 customers and 85,000 MPLS ports activated in Japan, Mikami says, but half of NTT Communications’ MPLS revenue comes from non-Japanese customers.

Twenty-five global NTT POPs are equipped with MPLS provider edge routers. NTT America has five in the U.S. but that may grow to 15 or 20 as the carrier builds out its MPLS VPN presence here, Mikami says.

He could not say when NTT America planned to turn up its domestic MPLS VPN in the U.S. But it will face stiff competition from homeboys AT&T, MCI and Sprint, as well as from the blossoming nationwide IP VPN services from the RBOCs.

In the meantime, NTT Communications continues to add features to its global VPN service, such as managed VoIP PBX-to-PBX trunking, video and VoIP VPN, which will debut this Spring.

The carrier will be providing customer edge routers to enterprise customers as components of these offerings, and is also looking to offer managed firewall, server and application services under 24-7 operation, Mikami says.

NTT Communications is working with Cisco, NEC and Avaya for IP PBX collocation and hosted VoIP services, he says.

Managing Editor

Jim Duffy has been covering technology for over 28 years, 23 at Network World. He covers enterprise networking infrastructure, including routers and switches. He also writes The Cisco Connection blog and can be reached on Twitter @Jim_Duffy and at

More from this author