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inverse multiplexing

Contributor(s): Michael Traynor

Inverse multiplexing speeds up data transmission by dividing a data stream into multiple concurrent streams that are transmitted at the same time across separate channels (such as a T-1 or E-1 lines) and are then reconstructed at the other end back into the original data stream. Just the reverse of ordinary multiplexing , which combines multiple signals into a single signal, inverse multiplexing is a technique commonly used where data in a high-speed local area network ( LAN ) flows back and forth into a wide area network ( WAN ) across the "bottleneck" of a slower line such as a T-1 (1.544 Mbps ). By using multiple T-1 lines, the data stream can be load-balanced across all of the lines at the same time. As a general rule, inverse multiplexing across up to 8 T-1 lines (or E-1 lines in Europe and elsewhere) is said to be less expensive than the cost of renting a T-3 (45 Mbps) line (or E-3 line in Europe and elsewhere).

Inverse multiplexing is also sometimes used in combination with frame relay and asynchronous transfer mode ( ATM ) transmission.

Inverse multiplexing is sometimes called inverse muxing or imuxing .

This was last updated in September 2005

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