Industry survey shows strong demand for multi-service technology

1 July 2003 Fremont, CA Lightwave--The MPLS/Frame Relay Alliance revealed the results of a technology survey completed by Supercomm 2003 attendees and alliance members. More than 200 service providers and vendors named ATM/Frame Relay/Ethernet service interworking as the most important work item, followed closely by Frame Relay to multi-protocol label switching (MPLS) interworking.

1 July 2003 Fremont, CA Lightwave--The MPLS/Frame Relay Alliance revealed the results of a technology survey completed by Supercomm 2003 attendees and alliance members. More than 200 service providers and vendors named ATM/Frame Relay/Ethernet service interworking as the most important work item, followed closely by Frame Relay to multi-protocol label switching (MPLS) interworking. The most requested interoperability focus was multi-class traffic engineering required for multi-service networks, followed by multi-provider, multi-area Layer 2 virtual private networks (VPNs).

Several of these technologies, including ATM/Frame Relay/Ethernet over MPLS and point-to-point Layer 2 VPN services, were showcased during an interoperability demonstration at Supercomm 2003 last month in Atlanta. In addition, several implementation agreements and work items that address these areas of technology are already on the agenda for the alliance to address in the remainder of 2003. The MPLS/Frame Relay Alliance is an international industry organization that is advancing the recognition and acceptance of MPLS and Frame Relay technologies in the global telecommunications industry through interoperability initiatives, implementation agreements, and educational and marketing resources and programs

"The survey results reflect an industry wide belief that multi-service technology is important," said Andrew G. Malis, chairman and president of the MPLS/Frame Relay Alliance. "The alliance recognizes this industry requirement and will continue to proactively work on these efforts with both service providers and vendors."

"The three most important objectives of service providers and carriers in this post-bubble environment are to simultaneously reduce operating costs, preserve existing services, and introduce new services such as IP-VPNs and ATM/Frame Relay/Ethernet over MPLS," says Joe McGarvey, senior analyst with the Current Analysis market research firm. "The work of the MPLS/Frame Relay Alliance is helping service providers shorten the path to realizing these objectives."

Survey results show an overwhelming interest in promoting ATM, Frame Relay and Ethernet service interworking over MPLS networks, providing any-to-any connectivity when different access protocols are used with an MPLS-based network backbone. The alliance currently has this work item on the agenda for the next quarterly meeting. In addition, the alliance will also look at testing and demonstrating multi-class traffic engineering and service level agreements (SLAs) as required for multi-service MPLS networks, as well as the interoperability and scalability testing for Layer 2 VPNs, multi-area Layer 3 VPNs, and Layer 2 interworking.

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