The event, which attracted more than 300 visitors on its first day, included presentations and panel discussions on a wide range of carrier Ethernet topics -- fixed and wireless access options, operator service deployments, technology advances, operational issues, and Ethernet's role in consumer services such as IPTV -- but PBT was a recurring theme in those presentations and in vendor news announcements made at the show.
"It seems like we're gearing up for a religious battle between PBB/PBT and MPLS, but I hope that peace will break out soon," said the BT man, who has stressed before that both PBT and MPLS will coexist in 21CN as, respectively, the Layer 2 and Layer 3 technologies.
"Tightly integrated optical, Ethernet, and IP/MPLS offers the only solution to meet all our customers' needs -- if I abandon any of these technologies then I limit my potential," said Beal.
Peter Lunk, director of service provider marketing for Extreme, says PBB-TE support will also be added to Extreme's larger edge box, the 12804R, and the 10808 metro switch. "PBT is cropping up in every RFP and RFI we're seeing at the moment," says Lunk. "Carriers want to see this supported, even though it's going to be 12 to 18 months before we have a standard, and deployments are still some way out."
Lunk says the carrier interest is coming from operators with strong SDH/Sonet deployments, and mainly in connection with supporting business Ethernet services.
Its new product, the EtherReach 1000, is a customer premises box that terminates an Ethernet-over-fiber connection. The company says it has added PBT support, as well as MPLS and Ethernet Q-in-Q, to give carriers a greater range of transport options as new alternatives arise.
Ethernet access player Hatteras Networks Inc. also announced a new customer -- Mila, the recently spun-off wholesale division of Iceland's incumbent operator, Síminn (formerly Iceland Telecom). (See Hatteras Wins in Iceland.)
Not a big deal financially for the vendor, but a different one, as the carrier and vendor never met during the procurement process. Halldor Guomundsson, director of R&D at Mila, tells Light Reading he saw the Hatteras equipment at a tradeshow, sent the company an email, and received a Hatteras box two days later to test.
"It worked straight away, so we decided to use it," says Guomundsson. Did he test any products from other vendors, too? "We're too small, we don't have the time or resources to do that," replies the Mila man.
He adds that the original intention was to use the equipment to provide high-speed access for business customers without having to dig fiber out to new buildings, but with the expanded capacity on the copper lines, the equipment can also be used to provide other services, such as mobile traffic backhaul.
The carrier executive, though, says Hatteras will need to add more features to allow such capabilities, as the backhaul of mobile traffic requires very precise clock synchronization between the base station controller and the base stations. Hatteras CEO Kevin Sheehan says the company is working on a specific application to deal with exactly that issue, and will announce details in the coming weeks.
— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading