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Mailbag: How many MPLS nodes does AT&T have?

Apr 07, 20042 mins
AT&TInternet Service ProvidersMPLS

* Readers help to clarify AT&T's MPLS strategy

In a January newsletter about AT&T’s MPLS strategy, I wrote that AT&T had installed 143 MPLS nodes in North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific and Latin America. The 143-node figure came from a document that AT&T provided me with statistics about the company’s IP network infrastructure.

It turns out that 143-node figure is wrong.

Several astute readers of the ISP News Report questioned the 143-node figure. So I sent their queries back to AT&T for clarification.

One reader wrote: “I have a question for you on the 143 MPLS nodes that AT&T has deployed. There are many sources indicating that AT&T has close to 1,000 MPLS nodes. If AT&T covers 50 countries with MPLS services, on average each country has three MPLS nodes, which does not make sense. So I conclude that your number could be a typo. Would you double check the number of MPLS nodes that AT&T has deployed worldwide?”

AT&T’s official response is that the company has “approximately 1,000 MPLS nodes worldwide.”

A second reader asked what AT&T means by the term MPLS nodes. “Did they mean frame relay/ATM switches used as access to get to their MPLS routers?” the reader wondered.

Here’s how AT&T explains the term: “We define an MPLS node as any location where MPLS is enabled across any platform. We have both frame/ATM switches running MPLS as well as routers running MPLS.”

Thanks to our readers for setting the record straight about AT&T’s MPLS deployment.

If you see any vendor facts or figures in the ISP News Report that don’t ring true, please send me an e-mail and I’ll try to chase down the right answers.