JANUARY 6, 2009 -- With research labs, derivative traders, and universities anxiously awaiting the release of the 100-Gigabit Ethernet (100GbE) standard in 2010, the technology will outship OC-768 in just two years, according to Freesky Research's (search for Freesky Research) new report, 40 and 100 Gigabit Networks: Technologies, Markets, Applications. Nonetheless, OC-768 will stick around thanks to ILECs and PTTs, who will continue to need packet-over-SONET/SDH router ports to aggregate lower-rate OC-n, STM, and T3/E3 circuits.
"One of the biggest misconceptions about 40- and 100-Gigabit is that it will be dominated by telecom carriers," said David Gross, author of the report. "Over 70% of all 40/100-Gigabit data revenue through 2013 will come from corporations, governments, and research labs, not telcos. Therefore, it won't take long for 100-Gigabit Ethernet to roll past OC-768."
The study found that telecom carriers will nonetheless be an important part of this market, but they will take a lot of direction from their large corporate customers. Additionally, ILECs and PTTs still operate well over 50,000 metro SONET/SDH rings, and cannot easily squeeze that traffic onto Ethernet frames. While OC-768 router ports will remain exceptionally expensive, it would be even more expensive to engineer a SONET-over-Ethernet network. Therefore, carriers will keep buying 40G router ports well into the next decade, albeit in lower volumes than corporations and governments buy 100GbE ports. Where ILECs and PTTs do provision Ethernet links, it will continue to be for their corporate customers' private lines, over dedicated wavelengths, and at 40 Gbps and under, for VPLS connections. As the market will splinter fairly quickly, component and system vendors who design products for specific topologies will fare better than those who strain to serve different needs equally, the research firm asserts.
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