Light Reading
CenturyLink's Bennett Gamel says Ethernet will be the common factor as the carrier stitches its networks together to create a 'service agnostic' platform

CenturyLink Outlines Its Network Vision

Jeff Baumgartner
News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner
11/7/2012
50%
50%

NEW YORK -- Ethernet Expo 2012 -- CenturyLink Inc. (NYSE: CTL) is using Ethernet as a unifying thread as it converges its multiple networks in a way that establishes a "service-agnostic" platform.

So stated Bennett Gamel, the operator's director of product and business development, during a keynote presentation Wednesday that outlined the company's network plan and elements of its service roadmap.

Having grown considerably during the past few years following a number of high-profile acquisitions (including Embarq, Qwest Communications and cloud services specialist Savvis), the operator is looking to unify its infrastructure and operate a common platform. (See CenturyLink Clouds Up With Savvis Buy, Qwest, CenturyLink Plan $22.4B Marriage and CenturyTel + Embarq = CenturyLink.)

"Ethernet and cloud service applications are becoming intertwined," Gamel said.



That integration is well underway, with CenturyLink basing its Ethernet developments around the Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF) 2.0 specifications (Requirements and Framework for Ethernet Service Protection): the operator intends to use Ethernet as both a product and as a means to enable other products and apps, noted Gamel.

The plan is to ensure that everything is interoperable to help CenturyLink establish interconnects that can turn it into a national provider with global ambitions.

Gamel outlined a handful of ways CenturyLink is evolving its transport and broadband access networks. On the transport end, it's in the process of moving to 100Gbit/s in its metro and long-haul networks, consolidating its legacy ATM/Sonet and Ethernet networks, and establishing MPLS as the control plane to deliver common services end-to-end. Oh, and it's doing all that while also integrating its cloud platform.

On the broadband access end, it's expanding its fiber deployments, though it won't abandon its copper networks, as CenturyLink will continue to update them by expanding deployments of VDSL2 and bonded VDSL2, as well as ADSL2+ and bonded ADSL2+.

But CenturyLink will aim to make the network services agnostic by consolidating everything on Ethernet wherever possible, with the goal of normalizing all services "after the access port," Gamel explained. Ethernet, he added, "will serve to simplify and aggregate" services.

It's also working toward the development of a "Virtual Service Platform," whereby multiple network applications and services, including IPTV, cloud, CDN (content delivery network) and IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystem) capabilities, would be virtualized and linked to the underlying physical infrastructure using software-defined networking (SDN) techniques.

At this point in the process, though, this is CenturyLink's vision quest. "It's not all there today, but that's the direction we're heading," he said, noting later that CenturyLink expects to be far enough along that ATM "will disappear" within a year or so.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Documentaries
Paul Bunyan's Giant Gigabit Plans

12|22|14   |   03:26   |   (0) comments


Gary Johnson, the CEO and GM of Minnesota rural operator Paul Bunyan Communications, discusses the company's 5,000-square-mile gigabit network rollout.
LRTV Interviews
CenturyLink: Building the Case for NFV

12|19|14   |   02:14   |   (0) comments


At the 2020 Vision Executive Summit, James Feger, VP, Network Strategy & Development at CenturyLink, talks about how the US operator is approaching virtual network functions from an operational and business case perspective.
LRTV Interviews
Liberty Global Sees Business Goldmine

12|18|14   |     |   (0) comments


Steen Sorensen, VP of business services for Liberty Global, explains where the giant international MSO sees growth potential.
LRTV Documentaries
EE: The Road to 5G

12|16|14   |   16:02   |   (1) comment


Andy Sutton, the principal network architect at UK mobile operator EE, explains how his company is using Wembley stadium as a wireless test bed and how that's helping EE to plan the evolution to 5G.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Highlights of Huawei's NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014

12|16|14   |     |   (0) comments


Huawei hosted its inaugural NFV Open Cloud Forum during the SDN & OpenFlow World Congress 2014 in Düsseldorf, Germany. The Forum brought together technology thought leaders, senior executives and telecom professionals from global carriers, industry associations, as well as other partner companies in the ecosystem, to exchange views on and collectively explore how ...
LRTV Custom TV
Realizing Operators' Digital Vision

12|16|14   |   5:23   |   (0) comments


Leveraging technology is fundamental to digital transformation but understanding customers and serving them really well is at the heart of digital businesses. TM Forum lists the following as the strategic pillars of the digital business: business agility and rapid innovation, operational agility and effectiveness, IT and data centricity, plus customer centricity. ...
LRTV Documentaries
US Cellular Injects Analytics Into LTE

12|16|14   |   2:57   |   (1) comment


US Cellular's Mario Vela explains how the operator uses analytics for network planning and what comes next as the carrier looks to eke more value out of its metrics.
LRTV Interviews
How Cox Biz Plans to Keep Growing

12|15|14   |     |   (2) comments


Steve Rowley, SVP of Cox Business, details how the third-biggest US MSO intends to boost its revenues to $2 billion and beyond over the rest of the decade
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With Bill Zhang, Director of SoftCOM Product Management, Huawei

12|15|14   |   2:50   |   (0) comments


Bill Zhang elaborated on Huawei's open philosophy in NFV solution development and network architecture design at the SDN & OpenFlow World Congress 2014.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Event Highlights: Huawei at SDN & OpenFlow World Congress 2014

12|15|14   |   3:43   |   (0) comments


Huawei joined the 2014 SDN & OpenFlow Congress as one of the key sponsors and contributors. At the event, Huawei reinforced the openness and flexibility of its network infrastructure strategies, and provided updates on its SDN and NVF innovations. Through participations at the exhibitions, forums and speeches, Huawei encouraged the industry to "think bigger and ...
LRTV Interviews
How Cable Biz Services Hit $10B Mark

12|12|14   |     |   (1) comment


Cable operators reached $10 billion in annual business services revenues by delving deeper into their vertical markets and expanding beyond the smallest firms.
LRTV Documentaries
Mediacom Aims to Test Connected Tractors

12|11|14   |   05:07   |   (3) comments


Cable business service provider is taking its services to the 'agribusiness' sector in partnership with farm equipment specialist John Deere and is getting involved in Gigabit Cities developments.
Upcoming Live Events
February 10, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
March 17, 2015, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
April 14, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City, NY
May 6, 2015, McCormick Convention Center, Chicago, IL
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Hot Topics
T-Mobile, BlackBerry Flirt With Reuniting
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 12/17/2014
1-Gig: Coming to a Small Town Near You
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, 12/17/2014
Comcast Launches 4K Streaming Service
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 12/18/2014
US Carriers, You're Going to Cuba!
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 12/18/2014
Google Steering Android Towards Cars – Report
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 12/19/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive