Deutsche Telekom Tackles Ethernet

German carrier seems the latest to include metro Ethernet in its next-gen plans; trialing Atrica gear

December 8, 2003

2 Min Read
Deutsche Telekom Tackles Ethernet

Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT) appears to be the latest European carrier to be eyeing metro Ethernet for its next-generation plans, if an ongoing trial continues to deliver.

Today, metro Ethernet vendor Atrica Inc. plans to announce a two-year-old contract award. The company's core and edge systems have been powering parts of the carrier's Global Seamless Network (GSN), a test bed for future technology plans. Atrica is one of three vendors involved in the GSN project.

Althought the terms aren't disclosed, the win probably isn't huge financially, with the network still classified as a test bed. Deutsche Telekom is using Atrica gear to send traffic between Berlin and Darmstadt, as well as to deliver services inside either city. Part of Atrica's role is to use Ethernet to transport voice and video across installed SDH lines between the cities.

Still, the win adds to Atrica's bragging rights about progress for carrier Ethernet in Europe (see Isis Taps Atrica, Atrica Supplies Irish, Atrica Plugs Into France Telecom, and Euro CLEC Says 'Oui' to Atrica). The startup keeps cropping up in these installations because of its TDM expertise, an area where it's got an edge over established vendors such as Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), Extreme Devices Inc., and Foundry Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: FDRY), says Michael Howard, principal analyst with research firm Infonetics Research Inc..

"That's one of the things that impressed me with Atrica at first -- that from the outset they were solving TDM traffic over Ethernet," Howard says.

One reason might be that carriers, including France Telecom SA (NYSE: FTE), have been investing in Atrica. They probably shared their plans with the startup, essentially handing Atrica a next-generation instruction guide, Howard says.

Atrica still has competition, of course. Lucent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: LU), in particular, is already working with Deutsche Telekom to transport legacy traffic over Ethernet (see Lucent Scores Big in Europe). And other Ethernet options abound, including the transport of Ethernet over Sonet/SDH using features such as generic framing procedure (GFP) and link capacity adjustment scheme (LCAS) (see Making Sonet Ethernet-Friendly).

— Craig Matsumoto, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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