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Carrier-grade Ethernet gear lacks a complete standards base, new study finds

Time-to-market pressures are causing many makers of carrier-grade Ethernet equipment to rely on proprietary technol...


June 28, 2004  


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Time-to-market pressures are causing many makers of carrier-grade Ethernet equipment to rely on proprietary technology instead of industry standards as they scramble to deliver next-generation products, according to a new report released today by Heavy Reading, the market research division of Light Reading Inc.

The report, Ethernet Over IP/MPLS Service Delivery Platforms: A Heavy Reading Competitive Analysis, focuses on the emerging market for carrier-class platforms that deliver Ethernet services over IP and MPLS (Multiprotocol Label Switching) networks.

The report includes in-depth, feature-by-feature analyses of more than 40 different products from a dozen manufacturers, including industry leaders Alcatel, Cisco Systems and Nortel Networks.

Use of proprietary technology could ultimately drive up deployment costs for telecom service providers because it would limit their ability to use less expensive gear from competing suppliers, notes Geoff Bennett, chief technologist at Heavy Reading and author of the report.

“Changes have to be made to enterprise Ethernet equipment to enable it to support carrier-class services successfully,” Bennett explains. “With such a broad scope of work to be done, it’s not surprising that many of the initial implementations are proprietary in nature.”

Bennett adds that most vendors remain committed to deploying standards-based technology once those standards are stabilized. He points to operations, administration, and maintenance (OAM) as one key area where significant progress is being made on the standards front.

Further information on the report, which is priced at $3,795, is available at www.heavyreading.com.