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Alcatel Introduces the First SONET Access Multiplexer Operating at OC-48 Speed; The Compact 1603 SMX Allows Carriers to Increase Bandwidth Cost-effectively.

WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 25, 1999--Alcatel (NYSE:ALA) today introduced the 1603 SMX SONET Multiplexer eXtra, the first SONET access multiplexer operating at an OC-48 line rate.

The 1603 SMX is a cost-effective and space-efficient alternative for carriers to gain higher bandwidth capacity. Available immediately, it is on display at COMNET '99 in Washington D.C., January 25-28 (Booth No. 1626).

With its ability to operate as an OC-3, OC-12, or OC-48 multiplexer, the 1603 SMX is one of the industry's most scaleable and cost-effective SONET access products. Rather than having to build overlay rings requiring additional multiplexers and fiber when an access ring reaches its current limits of OC-12 bandwidth capacity, a single access ring can now be constructed to handle up to 48 STS-1s. In addition, it facilitates in-service upgrades between line rates through simple replacements of optic units.

"The 1603 SMX, with its compact size and scaleability, is uniquely suited to the diverse and evolutionary requirements of new access networks like those being built by Competitive Local Exchange Carriers (CLECs)," said Bernie Assa, Product Marketing Manager at Alcatel. "In addition, Alcatel's 1603 SMX offers the widest array of interfaces in the industry, ranging from DS1 to OC-48. Carriers can choose from DS1, DS3, STS-1, OC-3, OC-12, or OC-48 interfaces. Also, in another industry first, the 1603 SMX supports VT1.5 level traffic management in an OC-48 SONET access multiplexer, along with STS-1, STS-3c, and STS-12c level grooming."

The physical design of the 1603 SMX caters to the service provider's space constraints. Using one 14-inch tall shelf, a full 48 STS-1 amount of bandwidth can be terminated through four OC-12 drop interfaces. As many as four 1603 SMX shelves can be installed in a standard 7-foot rack. Unlike other OC-48 access systems, the temperature-hardened 1603 SMX can be installed in virtually any location.

The 1603 SMX SONET Multiplexer eXtra is the newest member of the 1603 SONET access family that includes the 1603 SM SONET Multiplexer and the 1603 SE SONET Extender products. All three products are interoperable and share common plug-in units across the family.

A world leader in telecommunications systems and equipment, as well as related cables and components activities, Alcatel operates in over 130 countries. Alcatel provides complete solutions and services to operators, service providers, enterprises and consumers, ranging from backbone networks to user terminals. For more information, visit Alcatel on Internet: http://www.alcatel.com or the US Web site at www.usa.alcatel.com. The contact for Alcatel's Investor Relations is (US) Michael Haase, 972/519-6855, michael.a.haase@usa.alcatel.com.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Jan 25, 1999
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