ECI Intros Carrier Ethernet Portfolio

ECI Telecom Ltd. today announced that it is coming to market with two product series that fall under its new 9000 family of carrier Ethernet: the 9700 series of carrier Ethernet switch routers (CESRs) and the 9200 series of carrier Ethernet access platforms (CEAPs). (See ECI Launches 9000-S.)

ECI's introduction into the carrier Ethernet market will help the company round out its overall product portfolio. In an email, Heavy Reading analyst Stan Hubbard writes, "ECI was one of the few SONET/SDH players that did not have CESR and/or CEAP solutions in their portfolio, so this definitely should make them more competitive."

But the introduction of its CESR and CEAP product portfolio also places ECI in a very competitive and fast-growing new market segment. There are 16 vendors in the CESR market today, with another two signaling that they could enter the space before the end of 2008, according to Hubbard.

And IDC analyst Eve Griliches says, "The carrier Ethernet products are joining the fastest-growing part of the [telecom equipment] market right now, which is already crowded with some very large incumbents."

While ECI is "late to the party" in joining the CESR space, Hubbard writes that the company "should do fairly well in gaining traction because it has a large base of MSPP customers, many of whom are likely to migrate to CESR solutions."

With its entry into the carrier Ethernet market, ECI will look to capitalize on IP/MPLS technology and expertise that it gained through the acquisition of Laurel Networks in 2005. (See ECI Closing in on Laurel, ECI to Buy Laurel for $88M, ECI's Laurel Hedge, and ECI Revisits Broadband, Shutters Laurel.)

Another advantage ECI will have in launching its carrier Ethernet product portfolio is the tight integration those products have with the company's optical and multiservice provisioning platform (MSPP) portfolio.

Along with the new CESR and CEAP lines, ECI announced 1Net, its framework for tying together all of its next-generation networking platforms. With 1Net, the company offers a common software platform that integrates its entire line carrier Ethernet, WDM/ROADM, and MSPP products. (See ECI Telecom Bows 1Net.)

Griliches says that having standard software across all of its platforms is "definitely beneficial" to ECI customers. Also beneficial to ECI is the "balance" it has between its Ethernet, optical, and routing capabilities, which Griliches believes could help it to compete.

"ECI is one of very few companies that have Layer 2 Ethernet switching, optical, and routing expertise," Griliches says. "They have a really balanced approach to routing, optics, and Ethernet switching. Most other vendors excel in one or two of those areas, but not all three."

— Ryan Lawler, Reporter, Light Reading

Interested in learning more on this topic? Then come to Ethernet Expo: Europe 2008, the premier event covering the hot topic of carrier Ethernet network technologies and services in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA). To be staged in London, April 14-16, admission is free for attendees meeting our prequalification criteria. For more information, or to register, click here.

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