WilTel Expands to Secondary Markets to Tackle Enterprise Market

WilTel Communications Group Inc. (Booth 810) has announced Extended On-Net Service, a large initiative to extend DS3s and above to 300-plus Tier 2 and Tier 3 markets in the United States. The carrier says it is part of a push to attract enterprise customers and other heavy users of bandwidth.

There are challenges for companies that have facilities in secondary locations, because its expensive for that local component to get to the network, explains Tony Tomae, senior vice president of marketing at WilTel. We want to deliver a message that were not just for Tier 1, but that we have something for those other markets. Its a total solution, and its part of us driving costs out while offering network reliability.

Besides large enterprises, local government is another target vertical.

There is government pressure to provide broadband access, and existing bonds, grants and loans for municipalities to bring broadband to their regions, explains Roger Williams Sr., WilTels product manager.

WilTel will provide private line and Ethernet access. For private line, WilTel will provide DS3 to OC48 circuits, protected and unprotected. For Ethernet, the carrier will offer fast Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet, from 10 Mbps to 1,000 Mbps, protected and unprotected.

This will open up availability and access to dedicated Internet access and traditional private line services, as well as Layer 2 IP VPNs and e-WANs, and colocation, explains Williams. They also can access TDM voice in the form of channelized DS3s, and ATM and frame relay.

This range of legacy and next-generation services will allow enterprises to migrate when ready, he adds. As additional incentive for enterprises and municipalities in these areas, WilTel can bundle in professional services on the front end and managed services on the back end. Our competitors are not launching multiple access points in Tier 2 and Tier 3 areas, so were carving out a niche, says Tomae. Well bring in professional services, for engineering, implementation and field services, and to build infrastructure from their facilities to ours to manage it with third-party partners.

Williams says its managed services group is a big plus. Maybe these enterprises dont have the resources in-house, says Williams. We offer solutions, we dont just give quotes and walk away — we have a core ability for infrastructure builds.

Organizations can connect with the WilTel network via aerial fiber or coax, buried connectivity or wireless. This last option can be 802.16 or 802.20, both licensed and unlicensed, and it was added to target municipalities wishing to offer wireless ISP access.

To launch the service, WilTel is using its regeneration, or OpAmp, sites. WilTels 33,000 route-mile network has 115 PoPs, which are core network centers. Between them are regeneration facilities, spaced 40 miles apart, that amplify the signal, These use DWDM technology for lambdas to keep the signal strong.

And there is a lot of equipment and space in those facilities that were going to open up and use, says Tomae. Were taking those re-gen sites and turning them into high-bandwidth access PoPs.

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