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
Is your network built on 'The Old IP,' or are you part of 'The New IP' revolution?
LRTV Documentaries
A Cultural Shift for an OTT World

9|26|14   |   01:41   |   (3) comments


Telcos need to embrace a new approach to partnerships if they are to generate extra revenues quickly and give customers what they want.
LRTV Documentaries
New Skills Needed as Telecom, IT Collide

9|26|14   |   4:07   |   (1) comment


As telecom and IT collide, new technologies are emerging, new skills are needed and new opportunities for women are arising.
UBB Forum News
Do IP Networks Need An Overhaul?

9|25|14   |   02:01   |   (0) comments


As traffic levels ramp, do IP networks need new technologies and topologies?
LRTV Documentaries
Sprint Wields Its Influence in the Valley

9|25|14   |   3:09   |   (11) comments


Anne-Louise Kardas, Sprint's connection to startups in the Valley, explains how telcos can be innovative and find new opportunities with partners.
LRTV Documentaries
SDN, NFV & The Future of XO's Network

9|25|14   |   3:47   |   (1) comment


XO Communications COO Don MacNeil explains how cloud, SDN and NFV are altering its network requirements as well as changing data centers of the future.
UBB Forum News
The OTT Conundrum

9|24|14   |   01:39   |   (0) comments


What is holding back prosperous partnerships between telcos and the OTT players?
LRTV Documentaries
Putting Broadband to Work

9|24|14   |   01:26   |   (0) comments


High-speed broadband network rollout is key to telco strategies, but it's what happens after the network is built that counts.
Light Reedy
Light Reading's Women in Telecom Recap

9|24|14   |   0:55   |   (4) comments


Our first Women in Telecom breakfast was a huge success, and we hope you'll join us in London for the next event on November 6.
UBB Forum News
Monetizing Ultra-Broadband

9|24|14   |   01:43   |   (2) comments


Ultra-broadband networks need to be built, with fiber-to-the-premises the ultimate goal, but they need to be monetized, too.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Sales Director of INIT on Plug & Play Switch Devices

9|19|14   |   3:21   |   (0) comments


INIT Italy uses both the Huawei S5700 and S7700 series switches for the campus LAN environment. Sales Director Andrea Curti says their company chose these Huawei devices over others because of their performance, flexible scalability and plug-and-play features.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Saudi Arabia Upgrades Vocational Training System

9|19|14   |   3:31   |   (0) comments


The Technical and Vocational Training Corporation (TVTC) has 100,000 students, 150 government-owned institutions and oversees 1000 private institutes. The CIO of TVTC explains that Huawei devices have allowed them to manage multiple datacenters using just one software program, scientifically tracking the progress of students and teachers, saving them millions.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Media Solutions Are Here to Stay

9|19|14   |   4:35   |   (0) comments


The current media revolution requires rapid upgrades in technology. New formats (HD, 3D, 4K etc.) and the subsequent explosion of file sizes demand sophisticated network and storage architecture. Social media and the multiple distribution channels require a robust asset management system. Gartner analyst Venecia Liu speaks about the current technological trends in ...
Upcoming Live Events
October 29, 2014, New York City
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
Half of the world's population will be connected to the Internet by 2017, but not just by smartphones and desktops.
Hot Topics
Facebook Pokes Around LTE Direct
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 9/25/2014
Is Redbox Instant Shutting Down?
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 9/30/2014
Sprint Wields Its Influence in the Valley
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 9/25/2014
US Ignite Cultivates Gigabit Apps
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Utility Communications/IoT, 9/25/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed