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Is 2014 the Year of Carrier Ethernet 2.0?

Dan O'Shea
1/3/2014
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Will 2014 be the year that the Metro Ethernet Forum's Carrier Ethernet 2.0 becomes widely adopted among service providers? For something once touted as "the new Ethernet," it's been a bust.

It has been almost two years since the MEF, along with Ethernet Godfather Bob Metcalfe, announced CE 2.0. Yet, 23 months later, the MEF's services registry lists only 14 service providers globally as offering CE 2.0-certified services (See MEF Sticks a '2.0' on Carrier Ethernet.)

There might be more who are not yet listed, still in the process of being certified, or even still in the process for network deployment. In fact, while many of us were on holiday late last month, Hutchison Global Communications Ltd. (HGC) and vendor partner Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) announced plans to launch the first CE 2.0-compliant network in Hong Kong, which is also believed to be the first CE 2.0 network in the broader region of Asia outside of Indonesia and the Philippines.

The relatively low number of CE 2.0-certified service providers pales in comparison to at least 73 that are CE 1.0-certified, according to the MEF website. Meanwhile, 29 vendors are listed as having their equipment CE 2.0-certified, compared to 81 for CE 1.0. It doesn't seem like vendors have felt rushed to adopt CE 2.0 either, perhaps because a large number of their service-provider customers just haven't demanded it.

CE 2.0 expanded the number of Ethernet service definitions to eight -- two each under the E-Line, E-LAN, E-Tree, and E-Access service categories -- while adding further support for interconnection and management, as well as performance objectives for multiple classes of service (MultiCoS). These are all aspects which would seem valuable as providers in an increasingly competitive sector look to differentiate their services, and also as they look to expand their reach into new markets via interconnection agreements.

But, with low adoption, the most obvious assumptions to make are that MultiCoS guarantees just haven't surfaced yet as market necessities, and that providers don’t yet feel the need for standardized interconnection as they branch out. That reality seems to buttress some providers' early skepticism about MultiCoS. (See Carriers Not Cheering Complex Class of Service.)

It looks like a Heavy Reading Insider report from mid-2012 called it correctly when it stated, according to a survey of service provider officials, that many didn't see their companies likely to adopt CE 2.0 any time before 2014. Well, it's 2014, and if CE 2.0 is to be of value at the services level, it's time to prove it (See Operators Like CE 2.0 – So Far.)

— Dan O'Shea, Managing Editor, Light Reading

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t.bogataj
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t.bogataj,
User Rank: Light Sabre
1/7/2014 | 3:00:56 AM
Re: MEF
Dan, this one is simple. Just recall the lifespan of the ATM forum; they renamed to MEF (well, officially they formed it) when they realised that ATM was loosing against Ethernet.

T.
sam masud
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sam masud,
User Rank: Light Sabre
1/6/2014 | 10:19:49 AM
Re: MEF
The comment about "Getting back" to CE was most apropos. Also, I've wondered for a long time why the organization goes by the MEF moniker--you'd think they would call themselves something like Carrier Ethernet Forum or Ethernet Services Forum....Just a thought...

But on second thought, I guess they put "Metro" in there because that is really what CE is all about, meaning providing Ethernet connectivity to customers, from the first mile and into the metro.
Cellco
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Cellco,
User Rank: Moderator
1/6/2014 | 8:49:04 AM
Re: MEF
Dan, you have an excellent idea to change the name to more inclusive service offerings.  The Cellular industry adopted use of MEF-22 and MEF-8 as an example.  There are many solutions available from the work at MEF across multiple service provider lineage architectures. 
Cellco
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Cellco,
User Rank: Moderator
1/6/2014 | 8:46:39 AM
Re: Are the skeptics cheering?
Correct on OSMINE, I rejected the PO and worked with others solicited by BELLCORE/Telcordia to reject OSMINE process for PON.  I was responsible for the EMS development on our end. 

Again correct on Asia, just like Verizon and AFC were not the only PON activity, ITU is not the only place standards are developed. 

Do not be so sensitive.  I am not wrong just because I worked with companies other than AFC and Verizon.  There are many paths to go by, just like the delay of PON was not only due to UNE-L regulatory status, it took Triennial review, several NPRMs and a couple of court cases in parallel to create the delay. 

Today, we have no less than five state open proceedings, three active court cases and 7 open FCC actions in parallel to further prevent resale of incumbent plant.
brookseven
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brookseven,
User Rank: Light Sabre
1/6/2014 | 1:24:28 AM
Re: Are the skeptics cheering?
Cellco,

You are wrong about the reason for the elimination of OSMINE, since it technically was not eliminated.  TIRKS was still used and that is part of the OSMINE process.  I don't believe any PON provisioning tools were ever created under OSMINE.  So, Verizon created its own instead of having the former Telcordia do it.  Of course, AFC already complied with OSMINE so TIRKS was no problem.  

The Asian installations were EPON and therefore did not require any ITU specifications as they were IEEE compliant.

seven

 
DOShea
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DOShea,
User Rank: Blogger
1/5/2014 | 9:09:31 PM
MEF
Getting back to Carrier Ethernet, when is the Metro Ethernet Forum going to get around to changing its name?
Cellco
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Cellco,
User Rank: Moderator
1/5/2014 | 3:01:34 PM
Re: Are the skeptics cheering?
I can stand by my account and I do not think yours is much different than mine.  AFC did a great job with it's penetration into Rural telcos later on, where competition was underway.  As I said, I was able to travel to the installations through 2002 and lived adjacent to a 2001 installation (your right, not AFC).   They were not trials.

The installations in Asia prior to 2003 were not technically PON because the chipsets on-board for the 2000, 2001 and most of the 2002 were *manufactured before 983.x ratification.  The dba, sur, one other annex did not start until 2002.   I do not know when ITU ratified 984.x but we did not start our contributions until early 2001. 

We agree OSMINE was not used and I maintain not relavent because nobody wanted to pay and wait for the process at that time, certainly no need to as the regulatory environment for those obligated to resale would not proceed. 
brookseven
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brookseven,
User Rank: Light Sabre
1/5/2014 | 12:21:08 PM
Re: Are the skeptics cheering?
Cellco,

Wow, Calix got their PON solution from their purchase of OSI.  AFC where I ran a large number of things were working on a proof of concept in 02.  I know for a fact that the first time any customer saw the AFC product was at Supercomm 03 where there was a demo in the booth.

In Asia, the deployment was EPON in Japan and Korea and by none of those vendors you named.  

As to OSMINE, Verizon did its own OSS environment in Tampa other than TIRKS.

So, your facts are completely wrong on the topic.  The first large scale FTTH deployments were Korea, Japan and FiOS.  

I am completely opinionless on CE 2.0.  But if you are using your statements about PON as credibility then you have a problem.

If you want some better evidence in timeline, please read http://wp.me/p3XVhG-3c.  This blog is written by the former CTO of AFC.

seven
Cellco
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Cellco,
User Rank: Moderator
1/5/2014 | 11:21:11 AM
Re: Are the skeptics cheering?
Seven,  Yes, I got to work on PON as well, (infact Light Reading was quite a flaming board back when I started reading and afraid to post because our IT dept managed R&D eng activity). I was and suspect you were in ITU writing, I was working on NEC chipset for a couple pre-983.x versions and then bringing it back into final, then the Annexes; then into 984.x Annexes, then working to get Expo, Anritsu, Agilent and Tektronix good information on our test suites for OLT and ONUs then working on Corning, Rational, National Instruments to create the test suites, and carriers to discern the lack of interest in 983.x and more of an interest in 984. 

During late 2001 and through 2002, I was able to go out to several telcos in USA but also Asia Pacific to see where Tut, TerraWave, Calix, AllOptix, AFC were having success and no-longer trial sites.  I was able to mediate the value of going through OSMINE a new process BELLCORE was trying to get more outside parties to buy into.  So yes in 2002-2004 there were just a few telcos, not tied to resale obligations (or not so concerned).

The bulk buyers that needed to go through checklist of CGL, QuESTForum and get the nomenclature into Common Language (but manage avoiding OSMINE) were able to use the period up-until release from resale obligations to get all that work done.  It is a good thing they did because the 983.x bit rate was nowhere near performing to what could be achieved in 984.x.

That brings us back to the point of CE 2.0.  There is no rush what-so-ever to get the product into Common Language, complete QuEST Forum etc...  The thought of having to expense ICA capable OSS support in addtion to Wholesale or VNO tools is too precious.  Give them a couple more years to work ICA into Wholesale/VNO rules and tools, then you will see the move from the interim steps into robust CE 2.0.
brookseven
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brookseven,
User Rank: Light Sabre
1/4/2014 | 12:32:49 PM
Re: Are the skeptics cheering?
Cellco,

Given that I worked on the PON product, I can tell you that the first AFC PON offering was a proof of concept first shown at the Supercomm 03 show.  So, no there was little to no PON deployments in 02 in the US.  Folks like OSI were the leaders and were tiny companies.

As to the regulatory topic, remember one of the big reasons for PON deployment was that unbundling is not required for FTTP networks (nor for FTTC if limited to 500' or less of copper).

So, your comment that regulatory slowed down PON is wrong and the fiber unbundling change (aka UNE-L) was before 04.

seven

 
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