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Today's metro networks have evolved from the need to support traditional voice and private line services. However, the tremendous growth in access to frame relay, ATM, IP, and Ethernet services, coupled with the desire of enterprise customers to interconnect via Ethernet interfaces, suggests the need for a new approach. This article proposes a new architecture for packet-aware transport networks (PATN) that supports both packet and traditional TDM services and leverages an assemblage of emerging technologies to provide efficient aggregation and switching of packet traffic in metro networks. The PATN has the potential to provide significant cost savings to carriers by reducing the number of network elements, reducing transport costs through statistical multiplexing, and eliminating the need for redundant multiplexing operations.
Date of Publication: Mar 2004