Long Distance Summary

Key factors in the long distance (LD) industry include:

  • Technology change, convergence, and the continued growth in Internet traffic are having major impacts on AT&T’s long distance network.
  • The LD carriers relying on a circuit-oriented architectures based on SONET, ATM, and circuit switches will transition to  a packet -oriented networks between 2015 and 2020. Declining long distance minutes-of-use and prices for voice services impact the value of traditional LD circuit switches. The decline is caused by the transition of usage to wireless, cable telephony, and VoIP.
  • Prices have declined in response to less expensive bandwidth, more efficient switching technology and the less expensive access afforded by wireless.
  • LD carriers will need to make nearly continuous upgrades in fiber optic transmission equipment to keep up with the growth in Internet bandwidth, traffic and performance requirements.
  • Some carriers will also need to replace older fiber optic cable to efficiently provide higher speed transmission, especially as speeds reach 100 Gb/s per wavelength and beyond.
  • It is very unlikely that LD carriers will light more than a fraction of fiber strands in their long distance fiber optic cable. LD carriers generally prefer to upgrade transmission equipment rather than light fiber in response to increased demand.

TFI does not publish industry-wide life recommendations or percent good tables for the LD industry generally, but it does provide tables for LD companies based on the above factors as they relate to each firm’s specific situation.

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