AT&T Exec to Expound on Ethernet

The lessons that AT&T Corp. (NYSE: T) learned when rolling out Frame Relay services in 1990 have a lot of relevance to the deployment of Ethernet services today.

So says Richard N. Klapman, group manager of AT&T’s Converged Packet Access Services, who will explain his views on this topic, and identify key issues for carriers deploying Ethernet services, in an upcoming Light Reading SuperWebinar on AT&T’s Ethernet roadmap, to be staged on Wednesday, January 26.

Klapman played a pivotal role in AT&T’s successful rollout of Frame Relay, and for the past six years he’s focused on adding packet voice to AT&T’s MPLS network through its Integrated Network Connection Service, otherwise known as INCS.

In Light Reading's SuperWebinar, Klapman plans to discuss one of the models AT&T is using to forecast the likely market for Ethernet services. It comprises three “dimensions” -- applications, economics and endpoints -- which determine the direction, timing, and size of the market, according to Klapman. He says the same model helped AT&T forecast the Frame Relay market in 1990, and that helped AT&T roll out services successfully.

“We feel that we’re laying the roadway and starting the journey to the widespread adoption of Ethernet services,” Klapman now says. “We’ve identified these three critical dimensions -- I like to call them the genetic code of networking -- that must be solved before its promise can be reached.”

In the SuperWebinar, Klapman will show how this model approaches three challenges in the way of Ethernet achieving its promise: “It’s all about footprint, footprint, footprint."

The first challenge is physical footprint. According to AT&T, there are 90,000 buildings needing Ethernet speeds, but no carrier has fiber going to more than 10 percent of the market. As a result, success depends on using all possible means to connect customers -- laying your own fiber, buying it from others, linking to customers in carrier hotels, and using new technologies such as Powerline and WiMax (see Powerline Ethernet Gets the Nod and WiMax Guide).

The second challenge involves the virtual footprint, or how to simplify the complexity of VLANs (Virtual Local Area Networks). In essence, this comes down to reaching agreement on a single approach to reliability and scaleability issues.

The third challenge is Ethernet's logical footprint, notably in supporting public voice on Ethernet, according to Klapman. Enterprises are already using IP PBXs to run internal telephone traffic over their LANs, but enabling them to make and receive external calls raises issues that are still being addressed.

Light Reading's free SuperWebinar on “AT&T’s Ethernet Roadmap” will be broadcast live on Jan 26 at 2:00 p.m. New York / 7:00 p.m. London time. Click here to register.

— Chris Somerville, Senior Editor, Next-Generation Services

copperdog 12/5/2012 | 3:29:40 AM
re: AT&T Exec to Expound on Ethernet Chris,
Why not mention the Ethernet over Copper vendors who are currently working to expand the footprint using good ole' fashion copper loops? The loops are widely available, and can reach nearly every building. It would seem to me that wiMax or BPL are solutions more suited to the retail/residential application, while EoCu is more suited to the enterprise customer. No need to reinvent the wheel, or pull fiber. I look forward to the webinar.


rjmcmahon 12/5/2012 | 3:29:37 AM
re: AT&T Exec to Expound on Ethernet Why not mention the Ethernet over Copper vendors who are currently working to expand the footprint using good ole' fashion copper loops?

I think it's because this article describes AT&T's strategy and their plans are to bypass the local telco lines. That's why they promote alternative access models such as VoIP, BPL and WIMAX.

The [copper] loops are widely available, and can reach nearly every building.

The Cu loops are also controlled by the ILECs.

This whole problem is sorta reminiscent to the Almon Strowger story.


[Almon Strowger, an undertaker,] was apparently motivated to invent an automatic telephone exchange after having difficulties with the local telephone operators. He was convinced that the local manual telephone exchange operators were sending calls to his competitor rather than his business. He also suspected that the telephone operators were influencing the choice of undertaker when his business was requested.
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