Jordan Telecom ditches ATM

Telco revamps its infrastructure by dropping ATM in favour of a Cisco-based Gigabit Ethernet network supplied by United Business Machines.

  • E-Mail
By  Simon Duddy Published  January 23, 2005

|~|jordtel_m.jpg|~||~|Jordan Telecom has upgraded from an ATM-based technology with a maximum speed of 155Mbyes/s to a Gigabit Ethernet infrastructure, with United Business Machines (UBM) implementing the Cisco-based solution. The network is used to connect Jordan Telecom’s main nodes, which include the headquarters (HQ), a disaster recovery site and a call centre, plus 180 remote sites. In addition, the telco updated its IP addressing schema to comply with the latest standards. The telco revamped the network primarily to bring greater performance and a wider feature set to its employees, which would allow them to fulfill their business goals more effectively. “Our network is considered the backbone of all communication services available in the Kingdom, so we believed it was a must to upgrade and develop it,” says Rula Ammuri, chief information officer (CIO) at Jordan Telecom. The firm bought Cisco active equipment for the implementation, with parent company France Telecom’s relationship with the networking giant a key factor in this decision. “We had tenders from a number of companies and Cisco scored the highest points in our technical and financial criteria,” says Ammuri. “We got a great deal with Cisco because of our relationship with France Telecom, which entitles us to discounts on products,” she adds. The new infrastructure has brought a host of improvements to Jordan Telecom’s business from more robust security to enhanced management but the speed boost was the benefit that was most immediately noticeable, according to the company. “Performance was slow on the ATM network, and this caused problems at remote sites,” explains Ammuri. “Staff in remote offices were trying to access applications hosted at the HQ and data centre and the time lag was unacceptable,” she adds. The company also had problems with network management when using the legacy ATM infrastructure and struggled to run network monitoring applications effectively. This has changed since the migration, with CiscoWorks LAN Management offering improved functionality. In addition, the aging ATM network was not well supported and not as easily configurable as the Gigabit Ethernet network. In terms of redundancy and security, the new network has also proved to be a shot in the arm, says Jordan Telecom. The telco has doubled up its Cisco switches and routers to ensure redundancy in the case of device failure and has also made use of the sophisticated security features native to the active gear. “Now we can create VLANs, which allows us to compartmentalise the network,” says Ammuri. “We can create access lists and group users, which we couldn’t do before. In our HQ, we now have VLANs for different departments such as marketing and finance,” she adds. The new network has also provided a solid base for the telco to further enhance security, which it is poised to do with a revamp of the company’s security policy. Another of the key assets of the network, according to the company, is its flexibility, which has eased the introduction of multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) and paved the way for IPv6, which is poised to replace the aging IPv4 in the coming years. Jordan Telecom was impressed by UBM’s implementation, which was carried out with no downtime – which was especially important considering Jordan Telecom’s commitment to deliver services to its customers. The work was carried out in phases and with a high degree of co-operation between UBM and Jordan Telecom. For example, UBM provided training courses to the telco’s employees in order to enable them to manage and interact with the new network. “The cooperation, commitment and teamwork which we received from UBM was a key factor in the success of this project,” says Ammuri.||**||

Add a Comment

Your display name This field is mandatory

Your e-mail address This field is mandatory (Your e-mail address won't be published)

Security code