OC3 Connection – How It Became To Be

The death toll of analog technology as a means of data and voice transmission was rung as businesses started venturing out of their regional or territorial strongholds.

As the footprints of the corporate houses started crossing time zones and political boundaries, communication became increasingly important. Not only with clients but also with own employees, who were possibly quite a few time zones away, and supposedly working for the benefit of the organization.

It was not only a case of keeping a tab on the employees and asking them for daily reports but also being able to provide guidance and support at crunch moments.

Connectivity gained a major boost with the advent of mobile phones. Now the person and his phone became inseparable. He could be connected any time anywhere. The need to be at the table or in the office did not exist anymore.

The final frontier was crossed when the World Wide Web opened up the vista of e-commerce! The whole world became available on the desktop and corporate houses just could not wait to conquer it.

The opportunities are there waiting to be grabbed but the communication was proving to be a bottleneck.

The Bell Laboratories were already working at it since they could envisage beforehand that such a requirement was in the offing. They wanted to be ready before the market felt the need for it!

They came out with the concept of T carriers. This was a revolution of sorts in the communication world! The whole concept of analog translation was discarded and the concept of digitization took its place. The voice and data were converted into digitized packets and transferred through optic fibers instead of copper lines.

The speed, capacity and clarity of data transfer increased manifold. A single T1 (the first generation of T carriers) line could accommodate as many as 24 channels. In a lay man’s language it meant that while a single telephone line could support either one voice communication or data transfer at one point of time, a single T1 connection could handle as many as 24 separate conversations simultaneously!

The speed also increased sixty times more than that was till then available over conventional copper wire phone lines.

Everybody thought that the final peak has been scaled; the ultimate in communication technology has been achieved! But nobody realized that e-commerce would become such a vital life blood in world of business. So, the quest for an even faster and better communication channel was on.

The next offering from the Bell Laboratories was T3. It was essentially an improvement over the earlier T1. Well the word “improvement” is really an understatement.

T3 was forty five times faster than a T1 connection and it had the capacity to carry 672 channels. It roughly worked out to the astounding fact that a single T3 line was capable of servicing an office establishment consisting of approximately 4000 people.

But that was also not the end! Now it was the turn of OC3. In fact OC indicates that data is essentially conveyed through optic fiber. Depending on the architecture used, OC3 is also known as STS-3 and STM-1.

Instead of getting bogged down in a maze of capital letters which many of us can not make any sense of, let us try to find out how much more efficient this new variant is.

Well, an OC3 connection consists of one hundred T1 lines synchronized together. Yes one hundred! And the synchronization gives the impact of more than a 100 T1 lines. Please sit on a comfortable chair and try to figure out what a massive communication power has been unleashed.

No good thing comes free. The installation cost of an OC3 connection depends very much on the infrastructure already present at the subscriber’s end.

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