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T-3 Carrier

What Does T-3 Carrier Mean?

A T-3 carrier is an acronym for digital signal level 3 (DS-3) T-carrier, a type of high-bandwidth telecommunications carrier. It corresponds to 28 T-1 lines (channels), where each channel runs at a 1.544 Mbps total signaling rate, or 44.736 million bps (approximate upstream/downstream speeds of 43-45 Mbps).


T-3 carriers are scaled to accommodate multiple users based on requirements. T-3 carriers are mostly used by organizations providing high-traffic Web hosting and requiring huge bandwidth levels on a daily basis, as well as government offices, call centers and universities.

Techopedia Explains T-3 Carrier

The T-3 carrier’s high-bandwidth capacity facilitates large database transfers through busy wide area networks (WAN). A T-3 carrier is generally installed as a primary networking channel in businesses supporting heavy network traffic.

Key T-3 carrier features include:

  • 44.736 Mbps data rate
  • Supports 28 DS-1 level signal transport within its payload
  • Widely used by wired and wireless telephony carriers and OC1 optical connections
  • Capable of transporting 672 DS-0 level channels within its payload

T-3 carriers typically run long hauls through fiber optics and coaxial cable, with some exceptions due to limited fiber channel availability in some areas of the United States.


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