Image Number 5 for United States Patent #6975649.
A concatenated signal carrying an arbitrary mix of concatenated data traffic is split and transported across a network between a start node and an end node through a hyper-concatenated connection set up through independent pointer processor state machines. At a start node, the concatenated optical signal is split into two or more hyper-concatenated data streams. If a split occurs at a frame within a concatenated signal, the start node replaces a concatenation indicator of the frame with a payload pointer from a first frame of the concatenated signal and inserts a split indicator in the SS bits of the frame overhead. At an end node, the hyper-concatenated data streams are recombined to recover the original concatenated signal. Frames containing split indicators are modified to remove the split indicator and to replace the payload pointer with a concatenation indicator.