Infonetics: Carriers say Ethernet all grown up

OCTOBER 3, 2007 � Infonetics Research says its new study of 27 "top-tier" service providers in North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific points to eventual Ethernet domination of the metro.

OCTOBER 3, 2007 � Infonetics Research (search for Infonetics) says its new study of 27 "top-tier" service providers in North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific (average 2007 revenue of $18 billion) provides further evidence that Ethernet continues to go mainstream and will eventually dominate the metro space, as SONET/SDH slowly declines over the next 10 to 20 years.

The market research firm says that every service provider interviewed in the study, "Service Provider Plans for Metro Optical and Ethernet," already offers Ethernet services, and their metro Ethernet service revenue is growing fast.

"The most telling finding in the study is that the vast majority of service providers we interviewed have a strategy for using Ethernet instead of SONET/SDH for accessing and collecting customer traffic," says Michael Howard, principal analyst of Infonetics Research and lead author of the study. "Ethernet as a carrier-class technology has made considerable progress; almost 90% of service providers participating in the study believe Ethernet is mature for carrier-class deployments, which is much different from the attitude of two years ago."

More highlights from the study include:

  • More than a fifth of service providers interviewed have stopped deployment and over half have slowed deployment of new SONET/SDH gear in their access networks.
  • Ethernet transport tunnels will be an essential ingredient of the services and optical transport layers. T-MPLS and PBT, both very new technologies, show good growth as VPNs by 2008. Over a quarter consider Ethernet tunneling protocols a critical feature on metro Ethernet equipment they will purchase in 2008.
  • The percent of service providers offering Ethernet over WDM for metro Ethernet services increases from 70% in 2007 to 85% after 2008, while the number offering Ethernet over SONET/SDH decreases from 93% to 78%.
  • Two-thirds have deployed hybrid products with Ethernet, WDM, and SONET/SDH in a single chassis, used to migrate to packet optical transport.

Study excerpts are available on the company's website:

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