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Marconi Sells Switches to Feds

New $9M sale of Marconi's core switch-router supports critical US Government applications

September 30, 2003

3 Min Read

PITTSBURGH -- Marconi Corporation plc (London: MONI), through its U.S. subsidiary, Marconi Communications Federal, Inc., today announced the sale of several BXR™-48000 multiservice switch-routers to the U.S. Federal government. This sale, worth about $9 million, includes both hardware and installation services for the BXR-48000s. Further details were not made public.

These additional BXR-48000s will help to support the stringent military-grade next-generation communications requirements of the U.S. Federal government. Over the U.S. government’s past financial year, the sale of Marconi’s multiservice networking equipment supporting specific mission-critical federal applications has increased by over 20 percent. This is in addition to Marconi’s installed base in the U.S. Federal government of about $1.3 billion.

"Government customers have long understood that Marconi is a reliable partner able to support the most rigorous networking requirements in the world, yet do it with a commercially-available platform. In that way, government customers benefit from the business-tested economics of advanced networking technology without risking the loss of specialized mission-critical functionality," said Gerry Kolosvary, president, Marconi Communications Federal, Inc. "Networks carrying critical data and applications for national defense are not the place for experimenting with untested solutions. Marconi combines battle-tested advanced networking technology with years of practical experience to deliver a secure, scalable and predictable strategy for converging voice, video and data over an all-packet infrastructure in an immediately deployable solution."

The U.S. Federal government bought the first of its BXR-48000s last autumn, a contract that was announced Sept. 16, 2002, and has also purchased Marconi’s 10 Gbps ATM (Asynchronous Transfer Mode) interface for the BXR-48000. The 10 Gbps interface supports Type 1 encryption, used to safeguard the mission-critical applications that are required for secure government communications across the world, including safeguarding the transport of real-time video streams. This rate of encryption is the fastest speed currently possible with commercially available technology. The government is currently evaluating the IP/MPLS (Internet Protocol / Multiprotocol Label Switching) capabilities of the BXR-48000.

Marconi’s BXR-48000 is a 480 Gbps (960 Gbps half-duplex) switch-router with a patented, payload agnostic striping architecture that eliminates the technological risk associated with scaling next-generation multiservice packet networks. Designed with the flexibility to operate as an all-IP router, an MPLS switch, an ATM switch, or all three simultaneously, the BXR-48000 supports mission-critical traffic and applications while allowing a smooth migration to a predictable multiservice packet infrastructure at the discretion of network operators.

"Because the BXR-48000 was specially designed to switch either ATM or IP/MPLS simultaneously, it permits continuity of operations for current and legacy applications in addition to allowing a smooth migration to pure IP networking environments without requiring disruptive or costly forklift upgrades," Kolosvary said.

Recently, Marconi has provided the BXR-48000 for public displays of advanced networking solutions that demonstrated the switch-router’s service flexibility and support for mission-critical applications. At an event in Las Vegas in May, the BXR-48000 participated in a demonstration showing that IP and ATM data can be encrypted at a line rate of 10 Gigabits per second (Gbps), the fastest speed possible with commercially available technology. The event demonstrated the feasibility of immediately deploying a high-speed yet secure, next-generation network transporting legacy and IP applications.

Applications for such high-speed encryption over a global communications grid include safe-guarding the real-time control and harvest of surveillance data from networked military, intelligence and security assets; protecting the transport of high-definition video steams and distributed supercomputing; and securing the integration of large storage files with real-time, desktop video telephony, including multi-person and multi-site conferencing for collaborative decision-making.

And, at SUPERCOMM 2003 in Atlanta, the BXR-48000 was demonstrated to show its flexibility, scalability and interoperability by concurrently transporting MPLS-VPN traffic, Fast Reroute tunnels, Virtual Private LAN Service (VPLS), ATM, Frame Relay and Ethernet over MPLS in a multi-vendor network.

Marconi Corp. plc

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