Skip to Main Content
A mismatch between demand and supply for bandwidth is common in transport carrier networks. This mismatch is generally a result of the disparity between a carrier's capacity buildout and its anticipated customer demand. A carrier with temporary bandwidth deficit or lack of presence in a geographical region and a carrier with surplus capacity in the right locations can be brought together by the emerging bandwidth exchange technology. Bandwidth exchange offers a win-win solution, in which the carrier with a deficit avoids losing revenue by buying capacity from the carrier with surplus, and the latter makes additional revenue by retail sale of its excess capacity. While the concept of real-time purchase and exchange of bandwidth has attracted a lot of attention, many technical challenges stand in the way of making it a reality. The purpose of this article is to provide an engineering framework for enabling real-time bandwidth exchange with committed quality of service and service level agreement among transport carriers. Special emphasis is given to identifying the architectural requirements and the enabling infrastructure necessary for building a viable bandwidth exchange that can be used for creating revenue out of surplus stranded capacity. Indepth analysis of cross-carrier service level agreement specification, capacity publication, route design, and service provisioning are also provided in the article.
Date of Publication: Jan 2003