Terminology

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Digital Signal 3 (DS3)
Is a digital signal level 3 T-carrier. It may also be referred to as a T3 line.
• The data rate for this type of signal is 44.736 Mbit/s (45 Mb).
• This level of carrier can transport 28 DS1 level signals within its payload.
• This level of carrier can transport 672 DS0 level channels within its payload.[1]
• Such circuits are the usual kind between telephony carriers, both wired and wireless, and typically by OC1 optical connections.

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OC-1
OC-1 is a SONET line with transmission speeds of up to 51.84 Mbit/s (payload: 50.112 Mbit/s; overhead: 1.728 Mbit/s) using optical fiber.

OC-3
OC-3 is a network line with transmission data rate of up to 155.52 Mbit/s (payload: 148.608 Mbit/s; overhead: 6.912 Mbit/s, including path overhead) using fiber optics. Depending on the system OC-3 is also known as STS-3 (electrical level) and STM-1 (SDH).

OC-3c / STM-1
OC-3c (“c” stands for “concatenated”) concatenates three STS-1 (OC-1) frames into a single OC-3 look alike stream. The three STS-1 (OC-1) streams interleaved with each other such that the first column is from the first stream, the second column is from the second stream, and the third is from the third stream. Concatenated STS (OC) frames carry only one column of path overhead because they cannot be divided into finer granularity signals. Hence, OC-3c can transmit more payload to accommodate a CEPT-4 139.264 Mbit/s signal. The payload rate is 149.76 Mbit/s and overhead is 5.76 Mbit/s.

OC-12 / STM-4
OC-12 is a network line with transmission speeds of up to 622.08 Mbit/s (payload: 601.344 Mbit/s; overhead: 20.736 Mbit/s).
OC-12 lines are commonly used by ISPs as Wide area network (WAN) connections. While a large ISPs would not use an OC-12 as a backbone (main link), it would for smaller, regional or local connections. This connection speed is also often used by mid-sized (below Tier 2) internet customers, such as web hosting companies or smaller ISPs buying service from larger ones.

OC-24
OC-24 is a network line with transmission speeds of up to 1244.16 Mbit/s (payload: 1202.208 Mbit/s (1.202208 Gbit/s); overhead: 41.472 Mbit/s). Implementations of OC-24 in commercial deployments are rare.

OC-48 / STM-16 / 2.5G SONET
OC-48 is a network line with transmission speeds of up to 2488.32 Mbit/s (payload: 2405.376 Mbit/s (2.405376 Gbit/s); overhead: 82.944 Mbit/s).
With relatively inexpensive interface prices, and being faster than OC-3, OC-12 connections, and even surpassing gigabit Ethernet, OC-48 connections are used as the backbones of many regional ISPs. Interconnections between large ISPs for purposes of peering or transit are quite common. As of 2005, the only connections in widespread use that surpass OC-48 speeds are OC-192 and 10 Gigabit Ethernet.
OC-48 is also used as transmission speed for tributaries from OC-192 nodes in order to optimize card slot utilization where lower speed deployments are used. Dropping at OC-12, OC-3 or STS-1 speeds are more commonly found on OC-48 terminals, where use of these cards on an OC-192 would not allow for full use of the available bandwidth.

OC-192 / STM-64 / 10G SONET
OC-192 is a network line with transmission speeds of up to 9953.28 Mbit/s (payload: 9510.912 Mbit/s (9.510912 Gbit/s); overhead: 442.368 Mbit/s).
A standardized variant of 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE), called WAN PHY, is designed to inter-operate with OC-192 transport equipment while the common version of 10GbE is called LAN PHY (which is not compatible with OC-192 transport equipment in its native form). The naming is somewhat misleading, because both variants can be used on a wide area network.
As of 2005, OC-192 connections were most common for use on backbones of large ISPs.

OC-768 / STM-256
OC-768 is a network line with transmission speeds of up to 39,813.12 Mbit/s (payload: 38,486.016 Mbit/s (38.486016 Gbit/s); overhead: 1,327.104 Mbit/s (1.327104 Gbit/s)).
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STM-1 (Synchronous Transport Module level-1)
Is the SDH ITU-T fiber optic network transmission standard. It has a bit rate of 155.52 Mbit/s. Higher levels go up by a factor of 4 at a time.

SONET/SDH Designations and bandwidths

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