That has spurred on some of the key players to upgrade and spin off new products recently, especially scaled-down versions of original traffic aggregators (see Redback's Got an Itsy-Bitsy B-RAS, Nortel, Laurel Extend B-RAS Lines, and Net.com Turns Up Scream). Expect to see all these products pushed prominently at next week's Supercomm show (see Laurel Struts Triple Play & IP Services).
What exactly the large carriers are doing or planning is being kept very hush-hush, though some details have leaked out to Light Reading from some sources close to the major carriers and their RFP processes. Recent highlights include:
Graham Beniston, analyst at large at Heavy Reading, says it's going to be a tough battle between the established players that have reasonable, but trusted, kit, such as Juniper, Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), and Redback Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: RBAK), and the new entrants that are offering more scaleable, high-end boxes with integrated ATM switching, but which have little track record with major carrier deployments. That pack includes CoSine Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: COSN), Laurel Networks Inc., and Network Equipment Technologies Inc. (net.com) (NYSE: NWK).
Beniston says the Tier 1 carriers in North America and Europe are taking the TR-059 specifications "very seriously," and while this could favor the challenging pack, he believes the experience and know-how of Juniper and Redback will likely keep them at the front of the queue when purchase orders are doled out.
But he warns that all those vendors will need to keep on top of their game, as there's a big challenge coming from a the IP DSLAM brigade, and particularly from Asia/Pacific. "There's going to be a strong challenge from vendors like Huawei, Samsung, and UTStarcom. They're offering IP DSLAMs with built in B-RAS capabilities, and that could be a temptation for the carriers," says the analyst.
— Ray Le Maistre, International Editor, Boardwatch