Shanghai Telecom is set to be first to deploy the controversial new Ethernet flavor, Provider Backbone Transport (PBT)

October 12, 2006

2 Min Read
Nortel's PBT Debuts in China

Nortel Networks Ltd. is supplying Shanghai Telecom with Carrier Ethernet equipment that incorporates Provider Backbone Transport (PBT), the controversial new flavor of Ethernet that is exciting a great interest and dividing opinion within the telecom world. (See Nortel Launches PBT.)

Nortel announced Thursday that the China Telecom Corp. Ltd. (NYSE: CHA) subsidiary is already taking delivery of its Metro Ethernet Routing Switch 8600 at the network core and Ethernet Services Unit 1800 to deliver Ethernet services at the edge of the network.

No financial details were announced, and it's unclear at present when the equipment will go into live production.

But in its press release about the deployment, Nortel stressed that Shanghai Telecom will be using PBT, a new approach for wide area networks that, by turning off some of the traditional functions of Ethernet switches, enables the provision of point-to-point Ethernet tunnels that deliver SDH-like reliability and management capabilities.

It's that functionality, familiar to so many Tier 1 carrier engineers, that initially attracted the attention of BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA), which has been supporting Nortel's efforts and helping the vendor to take PBT to the telecom standards bodies. (See BT Likes Nortel's New Ethernet Flavor.)

BT then shocked the industry by announcing just last month that it is rethinking its next generation backbone build-out plans, and that it may deploy PBT in its new core network as well as IP/MPLS. That news has generated one of the most heated telecom technology debates on the Light Reading message boards in quite some time. (See BT Rethinks 21CN Core Strategy.)

And BT isn't the only carrier checking out PBT, with Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) and BCE Inc. (Bell Canada) (NYSE/Toronto: BCE) also expressing an interest in its capabilities. Similarly, Nortel is not the only equipment vendor with a positive PBT message, with rivals such as Siemens Communications Group extolling the technology's virtues.

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

Subscribe and receive the latest news from the industry.
Join 62,000+ members. Yes it's completely free.

You May Also Like