Gigabit Ethernet to emerge as complementary technology to next-generation SONET

Aug. 21, 2001--While service providers and end users alike want to make the transition to a simple, low-cost access strategy in the metropolitan network, the reality is that it will take time.

Ethernet will prevail in seven to ten years, due to Ethernet's ubiquity and simplicity, but it will not replace SONET in the foreseeable future, according to a new Yankee Group report.

While service providers and end users alike want to make the transition to a simple, low-cost access strategy in the metropolitan network, the reality is that it will take time, shows "Gigabit Ethernet in the Metro Market." Ethernet has been embraced as a simple, low-cost solution for achieving bandwidths greater than the T1 access that most enterprises employ today.

However, in the near term (2001 to 2005), SONET and SONET variations will continue to dominate the architectures of the incumbents and many greenfield operators simply because carriers have spent a considerable amount of time and expense adopting SONET.

According to Marian Stasney, senior analyst for the Yankee Group's Carrier Convergence Infrastructure research and consulting practice, "The ubiquitous adoption of Gigabit Ethernet in the metro region is not a given unless the problems inherent in the current implementations are addressed. The completion and adoption of the 10-Gigabit Ethernet standard will not delay the introduction; rather, a slowing economy, confusion over the crowded marketplace, and the lack of first-mile infrastructure will slow the market for the next three to four years. However, the five-year forecast for Gigabit Ethernet, both SONET technologies and competing Ethernet delivery platforms, looks healthy."

The Report addresses where Gigabit Ethernet in the metropolitan-area network is today with regard to the needs of the service providers and the offerings of the hardware vendors, and also examines competing and complementary technologies, concluding with the Yankee Group's forecast for the market.

About the Yankee Group:

The Yankee Group provides technology research and strategic consulting in the Internet, electronic commerce, communications, wireless, computing, and enterprise applications. For more information, visit www.yankeegroup.com.

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