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Optical/IP

ECI Moves Deeper Into Metro

Despite its restructuring, ECI Telecom Ltd.'s (Nasdaq/NM: ECIL) Lightscape Networks division is trying to stay current with a new line of metro boxes just in time for tradeshow season (see ECI Unveils Metro Gear and ECI Goes Back to the Future).

At CeBIT this week, the equipment vendor introduced two new boxes for the metro market -- its XDM 100, a miniature multiservice provisioning platform (MSPP), and its XDM 200, a small CWDM platform. Both boxes are on display at CeBIT, and the XDM 200 will make its North American debut at the OFC Conference.

The XDM 100 is a small Sonet (Synchronous Optical NETwork) and SDH (Synchronous Digital Hierarchy) add/drop multiplexer (ADM) transport box with Layer 2 Ethernet capability. It's meant for installation in customer premises, central offices, and street-side cabinets. While tiny ADMs are a dime-a-dozen, ECI is touting its box's Ethernet services, such as the ability to provide Ethernet private lines, which replace TDM leased-line services; and Ethernet virtual private LAN services, which extend corporate LANs over the WAN.

ECI's XDM 200 is a CWDM solution for metro access and campus networks. It can transport eight wavelengths for distances up to 100km without need of amplification. If a newer type of fiber is used, it can support up to 16 wavelengths, the company says.

Contrast that with ECI's larger, more expensive DWDM platforms, which can send signals as far as 150km without amplification and up to 1,500km with amplification.

The new products are a big step for ECI because now it can compete for business it may have been losing earlier on to transport products, such as Cisco Systems Inc.'s (Nasdaq: CSCO) ONS 15327; and smaller WDM products, such as those sold by Ciena Corp. (Nasdaq: CIEN) and White Rock Networks. "We're expanding the XDM family to the access network," says Emanuel "Mano" Nachum, VP of marketing for ECI's Lightscape division.

The 100 and 200, notably, are less than half the size of their predecessors, the XDM 400 and XDM 500 MSPPs. "The XDM 400 and [XDM] 500 weren't cost effective enough and small enough to get into the access network of the customer's location," Nachum says.

Table 1: Sizing Up ECI's Lightscape Metro Products
Product Rack Units (RU) Features
XDM 100 4 Scales from STM-1/OC3 to STM-16/OC48
XDM 200 4* Supports Gigabit Ethernet, Fibre Channel, and FICON
XDM 400 10 Does support WDM, but is more optimized for Sonet/SDH and Ethernet transport
XDM 500 16 Supports up to 80 DWDM channels
XDM 1000 22 A real hybrid MSPP that supports optical and electrical interfaces
XDM 2000 17 Handles up to 60 Gbit/s of DWDM capacity per shelf
*Can be up to 7 RUs in size, depending on configuration.


Down the road, in 2004, ECI has plans to add Ethernet functions to the XDM 200 and add CWDM capability to the XDM 100, giving service providers a way of adding more services without having to buy two separate boxes. Depending on customer needs, Nachum says ECI might also combine the transport-friendly XDM 400 and the XDM 500 DWDM platform, too.

Light Reading's Founding Editor, Peter Heywood, will be hosting a panel discussion at CeBIT on Thursday, March 13: CeBIT Debate: ATM Versus Ethernet.

— Phil Harvey, Senior Editor, Light Reading

For up-to-date information about the coming OFC Conference, please visit Light Reading’s Unauthorized OFC Preview Site.

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