Optical/IP Networks

Czechs Check Out Metro Ethernet

PRAGUE -- Lightspeed Europe 2004 -- Carriers in Central and Eastern Europe are as eager as their neighbors in Western Europe and Scandinavia to exploit the potential of metro Ethernet services. That much was clear as service providers of all types gathered at the Radisson SAS Alcron Hotel in Prague for the Lightspeed Europe Ethernet Services Event.

With more than 100 telecom executives in attendance, including more than 80 from various Czech service providers, keynote speakers and sponsors addressed the issues of how Ethernet services can be delivered, and how to make money from them.

Carrier delegates came from the national incumbent Cesky Telecom a.s., mobile operator Cesky Mobil a.s. (Oskar), international operators TeliaSonera AB (Nasdaq: TLSN) and T-Systems, regional wholesaler Cecom Czech s.r.o., data service provider Aliatel, and a host of alternative operators and ISPs.

Ethernet is a hot topic throughout Europe at present, as national operators and competitive carriers alike launch services (see BT Offers Ethernet Over ATM, Cogent Adds to Euro Empire, and Europeans Go Crazy for Ethernet Services).

The delegates heard moderator Bob Mandeville, president of test specialist Iometrix Inc., and speakers from Axxessit, Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), Riverstone Networks Inc. (OTC: RSTN.PK), Siemens AG (NYSE: SI; Frankfurt: SIE), Tellabs Inc. (Nasdaq: TLAB; Frankfurt: BTLA), and Turin Networks Inc. delve into the many issues faced by carriers deploying wide-area Ethernet systems.

Key issues examined included the often overlooked OA&M (operations, administration, and maintenance) challenge. The main message for service providers is that they ignore the importance of OSS at their peril, but that current back-office systems aren't yet up to the challenge posed by some of Ethernet's most appealing service possibilities, such as real-time flexible bandwidth delivery and point-to-multipoint provisioning.

The speakers also examined the money-making potential of Ethernet services and the different strategies carriers can adopt if they want to run their services across existing infrastructure, such as SDH networks.

The Lightspeed Europe Ethernet Services Event rolls into the Hungarian capital of Budapest tomorrow (Wednesday, April 21), then to Warsaw on Friday (April 23), before the finale in Moscow next Monday, April 26. For more details, click here.

— Ray Le Maistre, International Editor, Boardwatch

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