The ATM Forum is a key body which has been developing specifications for asynchronous transfer mode (ATM) technology over the past six years. It has produced a number of signalling specifications covering the user network interface, the inter-carrier interface and private networking environments. While work continues on ‘fine-tuning’ these agreements, there is still discussion about how they are used in large scale networks, and in particular on the interworking of public and private network environments.
This paper reviews the current status of the relevant protocols and their scope. It then explores the issues related to their interworking and discusses the role of the proposed ATM internetwork interface (AINI) as an alternative internetwork or inter-carrier interface to its broadband intercarrier interface (B-ICI).