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Managing Editor

Cisco wins SBC

Dec 04, 20022 mins
Cisco SystemsSystem Management

Cisco announced Wednesday that SBC Communications is purchasing Cisco’s 12000 series Internet Routers for a nationwide OC-192 IP backbone network.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. SBC says the cost of the build-out was included in its capital budgets for this year and for 2003.

By mid-2003, the SBC IP network will consist of 14 OC-192 core points-of-presence (POP); 20 “MegaPOPs,” 18 of which are in place today; and 62 “miniPOPs,” 24 of which are in place today. Each of the core and megaPOPs will utilize a redundant pair of Cisco GSR 12416 routers. 

The miniPOP backbone routers range from Cisco GSR 12016 to 7500 series routers, dependent on the size of the POP.

The new backbone network will transport Internet-based services such as Dedicated Internet Access, SBC-Yahoo DSL, and SBC-Yahoo Dial. SBC will use MPLS-based traffic engineering to optimize backbone utilization and help meet customer service-level agreements.

The OC-192 backbone is operational in Southwestern Bell territories — Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas. The 10G bit/sec backbone will be turned up in California and the Ameritech states — Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin — next year, says Eric Boyer, vice president of network planning and engineering for SBC.

The SBC win could be significant for Cisco. Regional Bell Operating Companies like SBC are expected to invest heavily in new IP infrastructure over the next few years in an effort to generate revenue from new data and packetized voice services.

Cisco rival Juniper recently announced a win with RBOC BellSouth. BellSouth is building an MPLS-based IP backbone for IP VPN and other data services.

But some analysts said the Cisco/SBC win is old news.

“I believe it was February of this year when SBC had an analyst meeting in New York when they announced their IP network,” says Nikos Theodosopoulos of UBS Warburg. “So we did not find the announcement as new, but rather as a confirmation of something we already knew.”

The only new element to this week’s announcement, according to Theodosopoulos, is that Cisco will be the exclusive supplier of routers for the SBC OC-192 IP backbone. The carrier will not tap another supplier, such a Juniper, to be a “second source” of routers should Cisco fail to live up to its obligations.

An SBC spokesman confirmed the exclusive arrangement with Cisco.

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

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