To enable more IP-based WAN services, including voice over IP, at more enterprise sites around the world, MCI Inc. is expanding its Private IP VPN network offering and adding satellite service to its access options.
MCI champions its Private IP service as an ideal way for companies with far-flung sites to connect all locations to a single, secure network that carries voice, data and video traffic. It is less costly than building a private VPN from the ground up, and it may answer the call of companies looking for one provider to manage all networking services at all locations. MCIs Private IP service is available in 90 countries.
As of last week, enterprises with sites in the U.S. Virgin Islands can link to the network via satellite. The satellite connectivity, which ranges in speed from 64K bps to 2M bps, is also available in Puerto Rico and the continental United States. For sites linked on land, users can access the network via frame relay, ATM (asynchronous transfer mode), DSL or IP connections. Traffic runs over MCIs IP backbone using MPLS (Multiprotocol Label Switching).
With MCIs Secure Interworking Gateway, remote users can link to corporate applications, and now, with a new Managed Firewall service launched last week, enterprises can give third parties, such as vendors or suppliers, access to applications. The same firewall system can be configured to give enterprise working groups access to certain categories of data.
Over the past year, MCI has expanded Private IP into Eastern Europe and into Asia, including Taiwan and South Korea. Last week, the company announced that the service is also available in China, India and Israel.
AT&T Corp., which leads the U.S. market in IP VPN services, has enhanced its global MPLS offerings as well. Last month, the Bedminster, N.J., carrier added conferencing features to its IP services and beefed up its VOIP services for enterprises and their affiliates. With AT&Ts "automatic ring down" system, two phones can be connected instantly by simply picking up the handsets.
Targeting multinational enterprises, AT&T provides support in the language of a users region and one bill for voice and data services. In more than 50 nations, AT&T offers flat-rate, unlimited on-net calling, which is calling in a private network.
MCI, based in Ashburn, Va., changed its name from WorldCom Inc. last year upon emerging from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.