Nortel strengthens PBT-enabled Carrier Ethernet portfolio, announces new customers

DECEMBER 11, 2007 � Nortel says it is bringing more powerful resources to its Provide Backbone Transport technologies with products that meet carrier demand for greater bandwidth capacity and improved flexibility to deliver the needed bandwidth.

DECEMBER 11, 2007 � Nortel (search for Nortel) today announced that it is enhancing its Carrier Ethernet portfolio, bringing more powerful resources to its Provider Backbone Transport (search for PBT) technologies with products that meet carrier demand for greater bandwidth capacity and flexibility to deliver the needed bandwidth. In addition, new capabilities allow Nortel's PBT portfolio to carry "triple-play" services, including voice, Internet, and TV programming, for residential customers, thereby increasing revenue opportunities for carriers.

"The exponential growth in Internet traffic, coupled with the trend of Hyperconnectivity, in which every device that should be connected to the network will be connected to the network, could seriously impact the user experience on the Internet in the near future," notes Philippe Morin, president, Metro Ethernet Networks, Nortel.

"The ability to control and maximize bandwidth resources is a critical part of the solution--and that is PBT's forte," he adds. "Nortel is committed to innovation and to the continued evolution of PBT as a game-changing technology that outpaces our competitors now and will into the future. Our latest product evolution brings the simplicity and cost savings of PBT-enabled Ethernet to smaller deployments in the residential market," he continues. "We have advanced this solution based on specific customer input and are introducing new capabilities within new products to meet their needs."

PBT allows carriers an alternative to current, expensive technologies by using Ethernet to simplify network operations. Ethernet has been in broad use as a networking protocol for 30 years for enterprises to share information, making it well-known and extremely affordable, but it is the intelligence from PBT that makes Ethernet viable for very large-scale networks, say Nortel representatives. PBT creates paths that carry streams of data through the network across the most efficient routes. This is critical for video, streaming music, VoIP, and other traffic that degrades in quality from even the slightest delays within the network.

The Metro Ethernet Routing Switch (MERS) 8600, Nortel's delivery vehicle for PBT technology, is being improved to provide greater flexibility for carriers:

• New processors will enable better performance and the ability to accommodate new services and advanced networking traffic management, resulting in improved efficiency and the ability to deliver services like video to a greater number of users, say Nortel representatives.
• New options of modules for the MERS 8600 allow carriers flexibility for wider deployment scenarios, allowing them to tailor deployments to their precise requirements.

Also, the company is introducing two new additions to the Metro Ethernet Service Units 1800 portfolio, the Metro ESU 1880 and the Metro ESU 1860, which feature:

• Enhanced capabilities that are optimized to deliver flexible options for the delivery of business services to enterprises and triple-play services for residential customers; and
• Aggregation capabilities that provide new options for deployments on the Metro ESU 1860 and capacity that enables hundreds of thousands users to be served cost effectively.

The new products are fully integrated with Nortel's Metro Ethernet Manager (MEM), which works with PBT to simplify network operations and to provide greater network control over Nortel's Carrier Ethernet portfolio, explains the company. MEM delivers network management capabilities that allow providers to maintain their current operations model and quickly establish and manage new services.

The enhanced MERS8600 and new Metro ESU 1800 products will be available in Q1 2008.

New PBT customers

In a related announcement, Nortel has announced two new customers for its PBT-based equipment: Switzerland's groupe-e and U.S.-based Southern Light.

In Switzerland, the groupe-e company provides electricity to customers as well as bandwidth-intensive telecommunications services, including VoIP, high-speed Internet access, IPTV, and business services. The critical factor in choosing PBT for its network was to introduce new services like advanced business applications quickly and cost-effectively, say groupe-e representatives.

"Our network investment is opening up real possibilities for saving money, improving business performance, and looking at new opportunities to generate additional revenue," reports Christian Tinguely of groupe-e. "For example, the increased bandwidth PBT provides allows us to offer enhanced customer services such as Gigabit Ethernet connectivity for our small and medium business customers. PBT also positions us to extend our current residential services to include VoIP and IPTV in the future."

Southern Light is a carrier operating on the Gulf Coast of the U.S. that provides wholesale networking capacity to other operators and large enterprises. The company says it selected Nortel's PBT solution because of its simplicity of operations as well as the attractive economics.

"Due to continued growth, our network is very dynamic with flexible service offerings customized to suit a diverse customer base," explains Jack de la Garza, chief technology officer of Southern Light. "The combination of PBB and PBT offers the ability to deploy point-to-point, point-to-multipoint and any-to-any Ethernet services quickly. The traffic engineering and fast reroute capabilities of PBT also allows us to manage resources more effectively while offering a high degree of availability," he maintains.

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