Infonetics: MPLS-TP yes, PBB-TE not so much

DECEMBER 11, 2008 -- Analyst firm Infonetics Research has conducted a survey to see whether service providers plan to use PBB-TE or MPLS-TP, both, or alternative transport protocols as they build more packet-oriented networks.

DECEMBER 11, 2008 -- Analyst firm Infonetics Research (search for Infonetics) has conducted a survey to see whether service providers plan to use PBB-TE or MPLS-TP, both, or alternative transport protocols as they build more packet-oriented networks. The resulting report, MPLS-TP and PBB-TE Go Toe-to-Toe: Service Provider Survey, was released today.

"PBB-TE shows it has some market challenges on two counts when compared to MPLS-TP. First, 32% of the service providers we interviewed will not consider, or have considered and rejected, deployment of PBB-TE, while only 5% express similar negatives for MPLS-TP. Second, even though MPLS-TP is not yet defined, almost 80% of the service providers said they are considering MPLS-TP, while 53% will consider PBB-TE," said Michael Howard, principal analyst at Infonetics Research. "If MPLS-TP were defined today, we would expect MPLS-TP to be the winner between these two protocols, yet there is a strong enough interest in PBB-TE that it has a reasonable chance of being around for the long term."

The survey, conducted from August to October 2008 as part of Infonetics' Continuous Research Service, asked service providers about their plans for MPLS-TP, PBB-TE, stacked VLAN, PBB, VPWS (Pseudowire or PWE3), VPLS using Label Distribution Protocol signaling, and VPLS using Border Gateway Protocol signaling. Service provider responses to each type of packet transport protocol are included in the report.

Infonetics interviewed purchase decision makers at incumbent operators (mostly vertically integrated operators operating both wireline and wireless businesses) and competitive providers in EMEA, Asia-Pacific, and North America. Respondent service providers own and operate a packet transport network now or will by 2010, and have a cumulative $345 billion in 2008 revenue and $53 billion in 2008 capital expenditures (capex), and represent roughly 20% of total worldwide service provider capex and revenue in 2007 and 2008.

Infonetics' report covers packet transport issues and characteristics, which packet transport protocols have already been deployed and which will and will not be considered, which protocols will be used on various telecom equipment (carrier Ethernet switches, routers, optical equipment), carrier thinking on the importance of interworking between Layer 2 and Layer 3 for end-to-end transport tunnels, and manufacturer recommendations.

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