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OC3 Vs OC12 Vs OC48 – Costs, Speeds and Advantages & Disadvantages

October 6, 2017

Are you looking to upgrade your business’ bandwidth to an OC3, OC12 or OC48? This task can be intimidating and frustrating to tackle, even in the best of situations. Making the right choice for your business’ needs is challenging with so many variables to consider.

To help you understand the differences between OC3 vs OC12 vs OC48 bandwidth choices, each is described below in terms of: Bandwidth Type, Speed & Description, Application, Advantages, Disadvantages and Cost.

OC3 Circuit

Speed & Description: An OC3 circuit is a network line with transmission speeds of up to 155.52 Mbps using fiber optics.

Application: Large enterprises with significant bandwidth requirements or as an ISP backbone.

Advantages: OC3 benefits include super fast connectivity for critical internet needs as well as burstable bandwidth up to 155.52 Mbps.

Disadvantages: Very costly.

Costs: The price for OC3 lines can vary greatly depending on the carrier, location of the service and which application is used. For service from a Tier 1 provider, prices can start around $10,000 to $30,000 per month. This doesn’t include the local loop or the extensive setup. For any business considering a reliable OCx network, a Tier 1 provider (versus Tier 2 or Tier 3) is highly recommended.

OC12 Circuit

Speed & Description: An OC12 circuit is a network line with transmission speeds of up to 622.08 Mbps.

Application: OC12s are commonly used by ISPs as WAN connections.

Advantages: Bandwidth can be added as business grows without any major system overhauls. OC12 circuits also have a higher performance, lower latency, and increased reliability versus metropolitan Ethernet or long-haul waves.

Disadvantages: Very costly.

Costs: The price of OC12 circuits are based on the carrier, location of the service and which application is used. For service from a Tier 1 provider, prices can start around $100,000 to $300,000 per month, not including the setup costs which can add another several hundred thousand dollars. For any business considering a reliable OCx network, a Tier 1 provider (versus Tier 2 or Tier 3) is highly recommended.

OC48 Circuit

Speed & Description An OC48 circuit is a network line with transmission speeds of up to 2488.32 Mbps.

Application: OC48 connections are used as the backbones of many regional ISPs.

Advantages: OC48 circuits are faster than OC3 and OC12 connections, even surpassing gigabit Ethernet.

Disadvantages: Incredibly high cost.

Costs: As with OC3 and OC12 circuits, the price of OC48 circuits are based on the carrier, location of the service and which application is used. For service from a Tier 1 provider, costs can start around $300,000 to $500,000 per month, not including the setup costs which can add another several hundred thousand dollars. For any business considering a reliable OCx network, a Tier 1 provider (versus Tier 2 or Tier 3) is highly recommended.

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