WANs or Wide Area Networks are the backbone of the international airline industry. WANs are used for inter office connectivity and connectivity to suppliers, vendors and even competitors. The Airline industry is probably the most interconnected community on the planet.
Today most airlines use a combination of suppliers to build their WAN. Some do leave all their WAN requirements to community suppliers like, ARINC or SITA. But many choose to build their WAN using a collection of national PTT suppliers, community suppliers or even build their WAN’s using the public internet.
The airline industry still has remants of older WAN technologies but in the main over the past 10 years or so the industry has moved to TCP/IP as the main WAN protocol. However you’ll will still find older protocols in place, including X.25 and even P1024B/C. Albeit the manufactures of these legacy devices no longer support or build equipment to support them, there will always be someone using these older protocols.
WAN reliability and security was always one of the primary purchasing considerations of Airline CIOs, however recently low cost WAN options, including secure internet solutions have opened the field for many new providers.
As individual WAN services, become amlagmated into future ‘Cloud’ services, it should become a more open and price competitive market.