The full-mesh optical platform is the world's largest deployment of 40 Gbps transport, and it spans more than 80,000 fiber-optic wavelength miles, the company's entire United States ultra-long-haul network. The increased capacity will help AT&T handle the explosive customer demand for Internet and IP-based services, as the company said IP traffic on its backbone has grown nearly 60% year over year.
"Whether it's watching video over the Internet, updating a blog from a wireless device, or using applications on demand at work or remotely, the AT&T IP/MPLS backbone network is what enables all of that information to move across the country and across the globe," said John Donovan, AT&T's chief technology officer, in a statement. "AT&T has invested billions in the research, development, and deployment of advanced technologies to ensure that we're able to stay ahead of our customers' demand for Internet and IP applications, both today and in the years ahead."
The boost in capacity could enable the telecom company to offer faster Internet connectivity, as well as expand the footprint of its IPTV service, U-Verse. Additionally, the company said the new network platform minimizes latency and enhances transport efficiency and reliability.
The new network has also been designed to be able to adopt future technologies as they're developed. This is important because AT&T projects IP traffic in 2018 to be 5,600% greater than what it is today. The telecom company currently carries about 16 petabytes of total IP and data traffic on an average business day.
AT&T competitors Verizon Communications and Qwest Communications are also building and enhancing 40-Gbps networks.