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How feasible is it to implement ATM in a low traffic area (rural area)?

How feasible is it to implement ATM in a low traffic area (rural area)?

I have done an economic viability survey and it shows the explosive increase of mobile telecommunication in rural areas but rumors say ATM is being phased off since IP is in place.
Carriers are extremely pleased with being able to offer IP services. In many areas, IP is encapsulated to run over the existing ATM circuits so that the investment in ATM technology is protected. IP based equipment is less expensive than ATM.

There is work being done in the IEEE 802.3ah - Ethernet in the First Mile Study Group http://grouper.ieee.org/groups/802/3/efm/public to provide a standard for Ethernet services to the home and customer premise. Companies like Juniper http://www.juniper.net/ are banking on these services and are turning carriers globally into Ethernet service providers.

Further initiatives include broadband TV service, video on demand, video conferencing, etc. over Ethernet. With this market, the maturity of Ethernet will lead to a variety of services never before thought possible.

As for ATM – companies have a LOT of money invested in this technology. While they may add Ethernet services to their existing ATM networks, it would be a hard sell just to ditch ATM altogether. I think they will co-exist for a while.

If I were designing a new implementation, I would look long and hard at Ethernet. (The last statement is personal opinion – so no hate mail from ATM fans, please.)

This was last published in October 2003

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