Is ATM a Wide Area Network?

Is Asynchronous Transfer Mode a wide area network? Or is it just a framing protocol?

What I mean by wide area network is that, if there is such a thing called "ATM provider", does it mean that they deploy multiple ATM switches spread over diffferent geographic points and these switches are interconnected?

And if I am going to avail their WAN service, for example, I want to connect my two sites at City A and City B, are they going to connect my router at City A to their nearest ATM switch in City A and connect my router at City B to their nearest ATM switch in City B?

Now if the short answer is yes, I have a follow up question. How does the ATM provider interconnect these switches? Are they using SONET/SDH?

If this is also yes, then can we say the following:

  • End Users use the service of ISP
  • ISP use the service of ATM Provider
  • ATM Provider use the service of SONET/SDH Provider?

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