XO offers convergence over VPN


XO Communications this week launched a network-based Layer 3 MPLS IP VPN service for enterprises looking to connect offices, customers and partners, and converge voice, video and data applications over a single IP infrastructure.

The service is available in 75 metropolitan markets across the United States and supports a range of access options — from T-1 through OC-X and Ethernet — as well as four classes of service. XO is offering CoS at a flat rate, company officials say, meaning customers can have any class of service utilize up to the full available bandwidth without incurring additional charges.

The four CoS offerings are:

— Real Time, for applications that are sensitive to latency and jitter, such as VoIP

— Critical, for applications that can withstand higher latency and jitter, but still need guarantees on both delay and jitter, such as video

— Priority, for applications which need to take priority, but are not susceptible to variations in latency or jitter, such as database applications

— Standard, for applications which can withstand moderate to high variations in latency or jitter, such as e-mail and Web browsing

XO already offers Layer 2 site-to-site frame relay and Ethernet VPN services. And though XO is late to the MPLS VPN party — carriers such as AT&T and Verizon have been offering MPLS-based VPNs for several years — the competitive local exchange carrier believes it has a more updated and unique feature set, such as flat-rate CoS, and support for Ethernet-over-copper and serial line access options.

“In some ways it’s to our advantage” to just now be coming out with an MPLS VPN offering, says Dan Toomey, XO product manager for IP VPN. “We have a more current day offering and more unique solution than some others out there for five years.”

Pricing for the Layer 3 MPLS VPN service ranges from US$650 to $800 per month for T-1 access.

In June, XO plans to integrate its MPLS IP VPN service with its business-class VoIP service, XOptions Flex, to give enterprises an end-to-end converged voice and data service. XO said it will also expand its VoIP services portfolio later this year to support larger businesses and enterprises.

Separately, XO announced this week a campaign to undercut the price of competitive service offerings for large enterprises. Under the 3 Guarantee Program, XO promises to beat any competing price for 2.5Gbps and 10Gbps wavelength services along select XO network routes.

XO says it will also provide a one month service credit for these wavelength services if it fails to meet the agreed-upon service delivery date, as well as a 90-day risk-free trial of its IP Transit service without commitment. If the customer is not satisfied, the customer only pays for the services used under the trial, XO says.