Universal AU dumps frame relay for MPLS

Summary:Universal Music Group's (UMG) Australian operations are planning to replace legacy network links based on frame relay with a modern multi-protocol label switching (MPLS) implementation. Equant's Gene Chao The move commenced early in March and is part of a five-year global managed communications deal UMG has signed with France Telecom's international division Equant.

Universal Music Group's (UMG) Australian operations are planning to replace legacy network links based on frame relay with a modern multi-protocol label switching (MPLS) implementation.

      Gene Chao
Equant's Gene Chao
The move commenced early in March and is part of a five-year global managed communications deal UMG has signed with France Telecom's international division Equant.

MPLS is a next-generation networking protocol fast replacing old favourites like frame relay, in part due to its close integration with Internet Protocol (IP) networking.

Telcos like Telstra and Powertel are shifting their old networks to the protocol as they start to rollout next-generation services based on IP.

"Prior to the network transformation, UMG was using frame relay from multiple vendors, voice with legacy PBXs and [mobile] phones and BlackBerrys from multiple vendors," Equant's Americas division senior vice president of outsourcing Gene Chao said in an e-mail interview with ZDNet Australia today.

"The new environment will have a consistent technology platform and common toolsets and processes," he continued. "In the transformed environment, we are planning for the appropriate MPLS technology, telephony hardware/software and LAN management kits as appropriate."

"Services commencement was March 6, 2006, and it will be followed by a phased approach of transition and transformation," he said.

Chao said the network would span five UMG offices in Australia -- in Brisbane, Melbourne, North Sydney and two locations in the Sydney suburb of Kingsgrove, where UMG's national distribution centre is located. In addition one third-party site will be connected.

Internationally, Equant will connect UMG's international operations in 48 countries together with a MPLS IP-based virtual private network. The France Telecom division will take responsibility for wide and local area networks, managed voice, IP telephony, mobility and Web hosting services and vendor management.

Chao declined to reveal the dollar value of the deal.

Topics: BlackBerry, Mobility, Unified Comms

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