Manchester Airports Group (MAG) has signed a three-year contract with Cable & Wireless to link its four UK sites – Bournemouth, East Midlands, Humberside and Manchester – using a Multi-Protocol Label Switched (MPLS) network.
MAG's director of group technology and innovation, Martin Smith, said the network would make sure that passengers receive what they need from a 21st century airport.
"It's important that we include a communication network that delivers what we need now in terms of reliability and operational effectiveness, but also has the capacity to grow and evolve with the group as it develops and expands," he said.
The converged network system will allow MAG to service its 29 million customers, and also run corporate data applications such as email, internet access and mission-critical systems to support baggage handling and control tower operations. The network will also supply information to update noticeboards, relay check-in details and facilitate online ticketing and check-in facilities for passengers.
MAG is the largest UK-owned airport operator, and Manchester Airport is the largest airport in the country outside London.
MPLS is a protocol-agnostic packet switching mechanism, which offers high performance, and can be used to build end-to-end networks and forward data using packet-assigned labels, rather than having to know what that data is.
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