Ethernet Growing Pains
In the event's opening address, independent consultant Mark Lum said Ethernet still suffered from "basic OA&M and primitive fault management and performance monitoring."
Ethernet proponents defended their case. Nan Chen, president of the Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF), said that MEF standards work is ongoing in the OA&M and testing areas, with results expected during 2006 and 2007.
Certainly, deficiencies in these areas have been raised before by carriers like (see Ethernet Faces OA&M Challenge).
This has brought up the question of exactly how Ethernet should be marketed to the service provider community. Is it simply the "cheapest" stuff? Chen described Ethernet as the "cheapest, good-enough technology" on the market, adding that it was always those types of technology that end up dominating.
But that's not a message that everyone's happy with. Rami Houbby, director of network service provider marketing for the EMEA region at Allied Telesyn International Inc., a member of the MEF, says that's the wrong message to be sending out to the industry.
"That's way too negative. If incumbent carriers heard that message, they wouldn't adopt Ethernet," says Houbby. "And they need to adopt it now, as it's the only way they can deliver the kind of triple-play services that will generate new revenues."
Houbby points out that operators are seeing their voice revenues shrink, and they can't wait for standards to be ratified before they make a move. The innovators and early adopters, such as and , are already making their moves, but now the message being sent is that carrier Ethernet isn't ready yet.
So what's to be done?
Houbby says the operators will figure it out. He points out that many are already offering and delivering the services, including large national carriers. (See Light Reading's Ethernet Services Directory for proof of that.)
— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading