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Qwest Enhances iQ Networking

Qwest Communications International Inc. has enhanced its iQ Networking enterprise WAN data suite by expanding its global footprint, adding a new QoS prioritization queue and providing new CPE options.


Our customers want smart transport, lots of access options and service assurance across the world, with simple, end-to-end management, says Qwest Director of Product Management Martin Capurro. We plan to improve iQ Networking on a quarterly basis going forward.


Qwest has signed an interconnection agreement with BT Infonet to expand its reach for private port services (speeds from fractional DS1 to DS3/E3) in Europe, Asia, Australia and the Americas; customers with international locations or traveling workforces can now use iQ Networkings global MPLS services in 240 countries. Capurro says the carrier is looking to partner with other complementary providers in coming months, to deepen its presence regionally across the globe. Service accountability and connections will be managed under the Qwest umbrella.


Qwest also has added an additional quality of service queue, which gives customers another way to prioritize data traffic. This enhancement gives customers four queues, providing more flexibility and control over their data traffic management. When youre providing Layer 3 MPLS, you have to become intimate with the customers application environment, says Capurro. Do they have Citrix, voice, video? You have to ensure those applications are working.


Customers can set priorities so real-time applications, such as interactive voice and video, get priority over applications that do not require real-time handling, by selecting bandwidth allocations for the four queues: Priority 1 has the highest priority, for real-time voice applications; Priority 2 for video application; and Priorities 3 and 4 for other traffic with more liberal latency and jitter requirements.


Qwest is also improving options for customer premise equipment (CPE), with a streamlined ordering and implementation process.


A main driver was people telling us they needed a data service thats easy to use, buy and implement, says Capurro. Through the use of CPE we can provide plug-and-play Ethernet interfaces to the customer regardless of what the underlying local loop availability is, so this is a finished, end-to-end solution with no integration burden.


Rental options provide customers with monthly recurring charges with consolidated billing; standard CPE can be bundled into the transport costs. Depending on the applications on the network, higher-end CPE also can be deployed. In both cases, the CPE is fully integrated with the transport, existing CPE and legacy equipment, to provide customers with a turnkey solution. Packages can be fully managed, or not, depending on customers preferences.


This takes the component tree out of the equation; they simply plug in and go, says Capurro.


Qwest expects to release enhancements to iQ Networking each quarter. Upcoming roadmap items include Layer 2 VPNs, and end-to-end performance SLAs with customer premise devices as part of the standard service. Eventually, the portfolio will include stackable applications such as VoIP, CRM, inventory control and storage services, for horizontal and vertical business segments.


Qwest launched iQ Networking in early 2004 as a simplified end-to-end WAN service to support business applications. The portfolio offers three ports: Internet; private ports for closed user groups; and enhanced ports that add security, QoS and other premium private networking add-ons. These core building blocks offer smart transport with simplified management end-to-end, service assurance and full visibility into the WAN for customers, says Capurro. Customers care if SLAs are met, not the underlying technology. So we take care of the integration and the technical underpinnings, so they can focus on their core business. Us as a carrier can perform the work that companies are used to paying systems integrators for, on a more scalable basis and as part of a turnkey solution.



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