WAN Use to Skyrocket by 2006, Report Says

Infonetics Research is projecting that spending on wide area network and Internet services in North America will jump 26 percent by 2006.

Looking optimistically toward the future, analysts at Infonetics Research Inc. are projecting that spending on wide area network and Internet services in North America will rise 26 percent by 2006, with more enterprises turning to a mix of connectivity options, including optical and Ethernet technologies.

Infonetics released a study today that claims that the dominant frame relay/TDM leased line connection paradigm will evolve into one in which there will be a greater mix of frame relay, TDM, broadband technologies -- including DSL, cable and fixed wireless -- and optical/Ethernet technologies. Approximately 9 percent of the companies that participated in Infonetics research expect to be using optical technologies for WAN connections by 2004.

Getting a head start on the projected increase in demand for Ethernet, WorldCom today rolled out a package of Ethernet services that allow enterprises to use existing LAN infrastructure for enhanced WAN functions.

WorldCom is touting the Ethernet suite as a way for businesses to upgrade networks for high-capacity connections at multiple sites without re-engineering their network, and at the same time future-proof themselves for advances down the road. The long-term vision is to give enterprises a way to allow workers to plug into any Ethernet port and have instant access to all of their business applications.

The WorldCom Ethernet services will be available in the markets that WorldCom has metropolitan fiber networks. In 84 markets the carrier will offer metro and private line Ethernet, but in the top markets it will also offer Internet access and VPN services via Ethernet.

AT&T is also beefing up its IP VPN services this week, allowing enterprises to monitor and measure performance in the same way they can with frame relay and ATM services. To make this service enhancement, AT&T is using WAN performance technology from Visual Networks, called Visual UpTime 7.0.

Visual Uptime allows businesses to monitor the points in a WAN where failures tend to occur – in the routers and local access points.