In Networking DS stands for Digital Signal. So, what is DS3? Simply speaking, it means Digital Signal 3. Organizations achieve DS3 by multiplexing the DS1 signals with DS2 signals. This results in high-speed data transmission in the form of DS3 interfaces also known as T3.
DS3 signals or circuits are internet connections that offer a bandwidth of nearly 45 Mbps. This connectivity is typically delivered optic fiber. It is deployed by large scale network carriers to deliver internet access to their large base of clients where Ethernet services are not readily available.
The DS3 is sometimes also referred to as T3. This is because the T-carrier is the core carrier for establishing internet connectivity and DS3 is delivered as a connection connecting the network backbone provider and the internet service provider. From the ISP it is then delivered to the end client location.
Having understood what is DS3, now let’s look at how it works. Its circuits can either be in the form of telephone trunk lines for utilizing high capacity PBX or other such telephony systems or, it can be used as a data line providing 45 Mbps bandwidth speed.
DS3 can be delivered over a Coaxial connection or SONET. In the former, the service is delivered using a couple of coaxial cables with the help of BNC connectors.
However, these cables can only deliver up to a distance of 450 feet. Therefore, more popular provisioning of this technology is carried out using SONET fiber optic or fixed wireless transmission.
After the DS3 reaches the ISP, it is further routed using a CSU. A CSU or Channel Service Unit connects different channels from a DS3 signal before forwarding it to the router.
From the router, this is transmitted to the main server from where it is delivered to the client depending on the existing architecture and network components.
A T1 connection is capable of catering to only small users who don’t have access to Ethernet capability and is popularly used by small scale internet service providers in remove areas. A T3 or DS3, on the other hand, works as a major carrier as it is capable of connecting hundreds or thousands of users simultaneously.
Here, a CSU works as an essential component establishing connectivity between the equipment at the client location and the telecom service provider. It may seem like a modem, but a CSU is designed to ensure that the internet connection established is compatible for the user.
Like all technologies, DS3 comes with its own particular set of benefits and drawbacks. Some of the prominent ones are discussed in detail below.
DS3 circuits are highly reliable and stable motivating organizations with business-critical communication requirements to deploy these. DS3 can be used for not just gaining internet access, but also has other applications like file sharing, email, web hosting, VPN access, and data backup, to name a few.
In comparison to DSL or cable internet access, DS3 certainly offers a more superior bandwidth speed. Nearly all providers offer excellent service levels in their SLAs guaranteeing performance, speed, uptime, as well as response and repair.
Further, it need not just be data connectivity. The circuit can also be configured by the provider to transmit voice services as a result of its T1 line capacity. It can carry up to 28 T1’s multiplexed together.
Cost is the only main drawback of these services. Due to this reason, the circuits are typically used by large organizations that require more bandwidth and speed than what T1 lines can offer.
However, a small business with a limited budget cannot afford the capital and operational expenses associated with this technology. Therefore, the DS3 technology remains elusive for most small businesses.
So knowing what is DS3 and how it works is not enough. You need to know whether it is relevant for your business’ internet connectivity requirement. It might not fit your cost constraints.
Having understood what a DS3 is, you can now fathom its applications more appropriately. DS3 is highly relevant for large companies with high-speed data transfer requirements between offices, branch locations, or plant sites.
It is also recommended for businesses requiring enterprise-wide IP PBX or VoIP systems like a call center operation. Other applications are commonly found in businesses including internet service providers, research labs, educational institutions like universities, software development firms, etc.
However, if all you want is an internet speed that is two or three times that of your current T1 line, then it is possible to achieve this without shifting to a DS3 setup. You can deploy multiple T1 lines or bonded T1 lines to enhance the service (also known as NxT1).
It is highly useful if your business depends heavily on high-speed connections for operating real-time applications including VoIP, data and video conferencing.
At CarrierBid, we cannot just help you understand what is DS3 but we’ll also help you determine whether your business actually requires it or not. Feel free to contact us for an initial consultation with our team of experts. You can also fill out the form below and we’ll get in touch with you right away.