x
Ethernet equipment

BT Touts 21CN Progress, New Service

LONDON -- Ethernet Expo: Europe 2008 -- BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) is preparing the launch of new Ethernet and broadband services and the unveiling of its Web 2.0 service development platform, which will all take advantage of its ongoing 21CN investments, the carrier's director of IP and data platforms Karl Penaluna announced in a keynote address here in London.

But in a marked change from the carrier's presentations a year earlier, controversial Ethernet technology Provider Backbone Transport (PBT) did not feature in Penaluna's network diagrams, and he sidestepped questions about the technology's current role at BT. (See A Guide to PBT/PBB-TE.)

New services, apps creation platform
Penaluna told the audience that BT is set to launch a new suite of Ethernet services in the U.K. in May, to be followed by the launch of faster broadband access capabilities (up to 24 Mbit/s) based on ADSL2+ technology. Then toward the end of this year, BT plans to launch integrated voice and broadband services over Ethernet connections.

These new Ethernet services, initially up to 500 Mbit/s and up to 1GigE later, will be enabled from 106 new service nodes, currently housing Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) 7750 multiservice routers, by the end of May, said the BT man. He added that the number of those nodes should reach 1,000 by the end of April 2009.

In international markets, BT has to deal with a wide variety of access technologies, including DSL and wireless as well as the usual range of legacy TDM technologies, feeding data traffic from corporate customers into the carrier's global "Ethernet-only service platform," said Penaluna. So the carrier is developing a "global mediation device," which could be some sort of multiservice access node (MSAN), that will sit between the access networks and that service platform.

And by the end of the summer, BT also plans to have launched what it is now calling its "Innovation Platform," which is essentially its Web21C, Web 2.0 initiative that will allow third party application developers to build and try out new services using a BT service development kit and the carrier's network resources. (See BT Inches Toward Telco 2.0.)

But what about PBT?
What surprised many people here at the Expo, though, was the BT man's cool approach to PBT, a technology that the British carrier has been so keen on promoting for some years now, including at last year's Ethernet Expo Europe. (See PBT Stars at Ethernet Expo .)

When asked by Heavy Reading senior analyst Stan Hubbard about BT's current plans for PBT in 21CN, Penaluna noted: "There will be a lot of technologies used, but the discussion about technology is not the important question -- the real issue is the cost transformation and the services. I am interested in appropriate technologies and offering the innovation platform."

Penaluna declined to discuss BT's Ethernet technology strategy further after his keynote session.

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

desiEngineer 12/5/2012 | 3:43:14 PM
re: BT Touts 21CN Progress, New Service Stan should have also asked if PWs and VPLS were going to be used.

-desi
fiber_r_us 12/5/2012 | 3:43:14 PM
re: BT Touts 21CN Progress, New Service Appears that BT has realized Ethernet is a service that can be offered over many technologies. And customers buy services; not technologies.
digits 12/5/2012 | 3:43:12 PM
re: BT Touts 21CN Progress, New Service The whole 'customers buy services, not technologies' issue cropped up quite a few times at this week's Expo, and it's a fair point in the context of a particular debate, but...

For carriers, surely the choice of technology is vital to their service capabilities, management capabilities, and opex costs? It could make all the difference in terms of speed to market, cost efficiency, and the ability to deliver a greater level of visibility and even service control to the customers that would want it -- and those are the three main things BT is aiming for with 21CN.

Also, I think customers would care about the carrier technology if their service kept failing...

Ray



fiber_r_us 12/5/2012 | 3:43:10 PM
re: BT Touts 21CN Progress, New Service For carriers, surely the choice of technology is vital to their service capabilities, management capabilities, and opex costs? It could make all the difference in terms of speed to market, cost efficiency, and the ability to deliver a greater level of visibility and even service control to the customers that would want it -- and those are the three main things BT is aiming for with 21CN.

I would say that is true for any new network build. But, the discussion was around offering Ethernet services (which appears to be just one of the 21CN services). So, in the context of Ethernet services, the carrier will likely deliver those services over many technologies, as there is no ubiquitous underlying technology deployable at every scale at locations all over the world. The carrier would likely be dealing with copper, fiber, wireless, WDM, TDM, etc. all at differing capacities and differing by location. So, the idea that Ethernet services all must go through "one underlying technology" is a pipe dream.

Also, I think customers would care about the carrier technology if their service kept failing...

Of course, both the customer and the carrier want to achieve the service availability goals. That is what SLAs are all about. However, for deploying new network infrastructure, availability metrics can be met with many different technologies. None of the technologies, by themselves, has some inherent dramatic difference in availability. Availability is most affected by overall network design (redundant sites, redundant equipment, diverse paths, configuration, etc). There is nothing inherent in WDM, TDM, PBT, MPLS, etc that makes one of them more reliable than the other. Its all about how the carrier implements the technologies. A carrier can create high or low availability with any of the technologies.

If a customer is dissatified with his provider's perfomance because a "service kept failing", then the customer needs to look elsewhere. This is a sure sign of a poorly designed network (no matter what the underlying technology).
berty 12/5/2012 | 3:43:10 PM
re: BT Touts 21CN Progress, New Service Ray, the primary driver for 21CN was reducing OPex cost through the collapse of TDM voice network and replacing this with an all IP voice network. This was to be achieved by 2009 such that the business model presented to the financial community was acceptable. Few questioned the logic or sense of such a strategy most accepted the propaganda

THIS NEW VOICE NETWORK IS NO WHERE NEAR COMPLETION.

Has any one asked how many regions are connected to this new IP network? How is Cardiff doing the first region to have this in service?

BT are diverting the issue by focusing on the pure Ethernet play I can not blame them given the poor display so far wrt to their voice effort. It sounds like another Highgate, heads will roll or have they already.

Berty
desiEngineer 12/5/2012 | 3:43:08 PM
re: BT Touts 21CN Progress, New Service LR needs some sensationalism in their news. They still need to coax a few embers from a dying fire.

But what killed PBT at BT? Was it a failure to execute or a failure of the technology? Or both?

-desi


mtb826 12/5/2012 | 3:43:08 PM
re: BT Touts 21CN Progress, New Service It's obvious that BT has dumped PBT from their plans, but LR announces it with little fan fare. That's a smart play, keep it under the radar and maybe no one will notice that PBT is dead.

I'm sure if BT had presented any mention of PBT the LR headline would have read something like:
"PBT Wins at BT..."

digits 12/5/2012 | 3:43:03 PM
re: BT Touts 21CN Progress, New Service "THIS NEW VOICE NETWORK IS NO WHERE NEAR COMPLETION."

Come on Berty, you're losing your touch - don't you mean "NO WHERE NEAR STARTED" :-)

To be fair, the BT chap was talking at an Ethernet event, so it was expected that the focus would be Etherent on that occasion....
digits 12/5/2012 | 3:43:03 PM
re: BT Touts 21CN Progress, New Service And who says PBT is dead at BT? Not even those folk who wish PBT never existed -- and there are plenty of those.

Now we have the follow-up story:

BT Reconsiders PBT Plans

http://www.lightreading.com/do...
berty 12/5/2012 | 3:43:00 PM
re: BT Touts 21CN Progress, New Service So Ray people are still not prepared to question the false 21CN plans presented to financial community some 4 years ago.

Bush it under the carpet and lets move on.

Bert

HOME
Sign In
SEARCH
CLOSE
MORE
CLOSE