What's the Difference Between DS3 and T3 Bandwidth?

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Do not be confused about the difference between DS3 and T3 circuits. These terms are really synonymous. Instead you should focus on what they can do for you … and the best scenarios for application.

Digital Signal (DS) is a system of classifying digital circuits according to the rate and format of the signal (DS) and the equipment providing the signals (T). DS and T designations have come to be used synonymously so that DS1 assumes T1, and DS3 implies T3.

A DS3 line (also known as a T-3) is an ultra high-speed connection capable of transmitting data at rates up to 45 Mbps. A DS3 line is equal to approximately 672 regular voice-grade telephone lines, which is fast enough to transmit full-motion, real-time video, and very large databases over a busy network. A DS3 line is typically installed as a major networking artery for large corporations and universities with high-volume network traffic. Other example applications include large call centers, enterprise wide VoIP and IP PBX systems, Internet service providers, research labs, video conference centers and software development companies. A DS3 is the second fastest, non optical connection offered in North America. A DS3 line is comprized of 28 T1 lines, each operating at total signaling rate of 1.544 Mbps.

DS3 circuits provide businesses and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) with up to 45 Mb / s of dedicated Internet connectivity. This is an ideal solution for users who have outgrown their T1 connections and are in search of unlimited, high-capacity access. A DS3 line actually consists of 672 individual channels, each of which supports 64 Kb / s. DS3 lines are extremely high bandwidth connections into a carrier's backbone. They typically include SLAs (Service Level Agreements) that guarantee uptime and performance.

The DS3 signal itself is composed of 28 DS1 signals and is constructed using a two-step multiplexing process. First, the 28 DS1 signals are multiplexed into seven DS2 signals. Second, the seven DS2 signals are multiplexed into one DS3 signal. Each multiplexing step uses bit stuffing to handle the different input frequencies. Overhead bits provide alignment, error checking, in-band communications, and bit stuffing control information.

Line rate: 44,736,000 b / s
Signals: 7 DS2 signals = 28 DS1 signals

Overhead bits:
56 bits total / frame
F-bits (framing) 28 bits /
M-bits (multiframing) 3 bits /
C-bits (stuffing) 21 bits
X-bits (message) 2 bits /
P-bits (parity) 2 bits /
Data bits between overhead bits 84

A DS3 connection is comprized up of two monthly charges: the local loop and the port charge. The local loop charge is the cost of the circuit provided by the Local Exchange Carrier (LEC) that allows DS3 access into the carrier's network. The loop charge is based on the distance from the customer's location to the edge of the carrier's network; The farther the customer is from the network, the more the loop will cost. Nearly every carrier prices loops differently so it is in your best interest to price DS3 service with several providers to ensure that you get the best deal.

DS Internet Access is the ideal solution for businesses that require high-bandwidth access at a reduced price. Whether you host high-traffic Web sites, support Web hosting or need high-capacity bandwidth on an as-needed basis, there's a level of DS3 service (Full or fractional) that will meet your needs. Fractional to full DS3 or T3 circuits run from speeds of 3 Mbps up to 45 Mbps.

For customers that require more bandwidth than a T1 line can provide but do not yet require the capacity of a full DS3 line, a fractional DS3 connection is the ideal solution. A fractional DS3 is similar to a full DS (T) 3, only with some of the channels turned off. This reduces the total monthly cost and provides additional capacity that can be turned up in a matter of days. Unfortunately, the DS3 (T) loop is still required for this service.

If a full DS3 line is more bandwidth that you really need, it is also possible to get Fractional DS3, which gives you a portion of full DS3 bandwidth at a lower cost. Of course, DS3 is also available in multiples to increase bandwidth, similar to bonded T1 service.

DS3 service can be deployed for a wide verity of applications. The most common uses are DS3 point-to-point, DS3 internet, DS3 frame relay, DS3 voice and DS3 VPN. The pricing for these connections varies broadly depending on the carrier, location of service and the application for which the connection is being used. Visit DS3 Bandwidth Solutions to obtain current "real time" rate quotes for your location.