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Present Transport Systems and SONET

The present digital transport carrier system varies in the different geographical regions of the world. The structure is different in Japan than it is in North America, which is itself different than the structure in Europe. This disparate approach is complex and makes the interworking of the systems difficult and expensive. Moreover, it means that companies that build hardware and software for carrier systems must implement multiple commercial platforms for what could be one technology.

While SONET does not ensure equipment compatibility, it does provide a basis for vendors to build worldwide standards. Moreover, as shown with the shaded area in Figure 1–5, SONET is backwards compatible, in that it supports the current transport carriers' asynchronous systems in North America, Europe, and Japan. This feature is quite important because it allows different digital signals and hierarchies to operate with a common transport system, SONET. By the way, don't be concerned with all the details shown in Figure 1–5; they are explained later.

Figure 6-5Figure 1–5 SONET support for current technologies. Note: Unless noted otherwise, speeds in Mbit/s.

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