Nortel wins role in BT's 21CN

JANUARY 15, 2007 -- BT has selected Nortel's Metro Ethernet Routing Switch 8600 and Metro Ethernet Services Unit 1850 for the Ethernet component of its 21CN.

Jan 15th, 2007

JANUARY 15, 2007 -- BT (search for BT) has selected Nortel (search for Nortel) as one of two suppliers of carrier Ethernet equipment for its 21st Century Network (search for 21CN). Siemens was the other vendor selected (see "BT selects Siemens SURPASS Carrier Ethernet equipment for 21CN.")

BT aims to use the new Ethernet equipment to transport high-bandwidth services--from mission critical business applications to full-streaming video--with new levels of simplicity, quality, and cost-savings.

"Today's announcement marks a significant industry turning point," contends Mike Zafirovski, president and chief executive officer of Nortel. "BT is using Ethernet technology in a completely new way to provide an answer to the challenge of simplifying network management, redefining service quality, and reducing costs."

"We have been anticipating the widespread deployment of Ethernet in our 21CN architecture for a while but have been waiting for development to help make the technology viable for deployment in carrier grade networks," adds Matt Beal, director core convergence, BT Wholesale. "The implementation of Ethernet also complements fully BT's well established MPLS strategy within 21CN."

PBB-TE (Provider Backbone Bridging Traffic Engineering) is an emerging IEEE standard that incorporates a set of enhancements to Ethernet known as Provider Backbone Transport (PBT), which allows the use of Ethernet for a carrier-class transport network.

"As one of the early pioneers of PBT, we have already witnessed significant movement in the market for metro transport networks as it splits between an evolution of a router-based approach and a movement towards Ethernet," reports Philippe Morin, president, Metro Ethernet Networks, Nortel. Morin believes BT's 21CN project will speed wider scale adoption of Ethernet and help catalyze momentum to standardize the technology.

BT has selected Nortel's Metro Ethernet Routing Switch 8600 and Metro Ethernet Services Unit 1850 for the Ethernet component of its 21CN.

According to Nortel representatives, PBB-TE promises to bring control to data paths within very large carrier networks, enabling true quality of service, meaningful service level agreements (SLAs), and the ability to set aside specific paths for communications, increasing network performance while providing carrier-grade resiliency.

PBB-TE is currently progressing through industry standardization within the IEEE 802.1 Working Group.

A number of service providers, including The Chinese Academy of Sciences, COLT Telecom, MTC Kuwait, Pride, Shanghai Telecom, SURFNet, and Versatel, already have adopted various elements of Nortel's Metro Ethernet Networking profolio, including the Metro Ethernet Routing Switch 8600, the Optical Multiservice Edge 6500, and Provider Backbone Bridges.


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