To keep pace with new technological advances (such as video conferencing), the telecommunications industry has had to introduce technology that provides a common format for services with different bandwidth requirements. This technology, known as Asynchronous Transfer Mode, or ATM, was initially made for a future network platform of a heterogeneous form—such as broadband-integrated services digital networks (known as B-ISDN). B-ISDN concepts suggest utilizing synchronous optical networks (known as SONET) for long distance or Wide Area Networks (WANs).
Asynchronous Transfer Mode is the work of the ATM Forum (ATMF), a group of more than 700 computer suppliers, network equipment suppliers, and public carriers. ATM does not use bridge and router devices to connect to remote endpoint devices but instead uses cell switches. As ATM has developed in recent years, it has become a crucial item in assisting companies in their delivery, management, and maintenance of goods and services.
In 1991, the ATM Forum was established to expedite the utilization of ATM products and services through a rapid convergence of interoperability specifications and to promote industry cooperation and market awareness. Currently, the global market for ATM is worth billions of dollars, for with the growth of the Internet, the need for broadband access has also increased.
The ATM Forum has in recent years arranged for conferences on such timely topics as Homeland Security and Public Safety Networks, Federal Aviation Administration Network Security, and Mobility for Emergency and Safety Applications.
QUT Division of Technology, Information and Learning Support. Network Glossary. [Online, July 17, 2003.] QUT Division of Technology, Information and Learning Support Website. http://www.its.qut.edu.au/network/glossary.jsp; The ATM Forum. The History of ATM Technology. [Online, 2002.] The ATM Forum Website. http://www .atmforum.com/aboutatm/history.html.