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Ethernet services

Ethernet Makes a CeBIT Splash

HANNOVER, Germany – CeBIT 2005 – It may have taken longer than some industry pundits predicted, but Europe is finally embracing wide-area Ethernet technology in a big way. (See BT Joins WAN Bandwagon, NTL Casts a Wide Ethernet, KPN Lays Out IP Migration Plan, Alcatel to Buy Native for $55M, and Neuf Says Bonjour to ADVA.)

That trend is much in evidence at the monster CeBIT 2005 exhibition here in Hannover, where every vendor and his dachshund has an Ethernet product of some sort on display, from multicolored residential cable to core operator switches (see Eurobites: CeBIT Schnippets).

So who's making the biggest Ethernet news at the show?

Atrica Spews Euronews
Ethernet switch startup Atrica Inc. has been making headway in Eastern Europe of late, to add its previous success in Western Europe, and named two new customers and three new partners here at CeBIT. (See Atrica Names Customers, Partners, Euro CLEC Says 'Oui' to Atrica, France Telecom Picks Atrica, and Atrica Supplies Deutsche Telecom GSN.)

"Central and Eastern Europe is very fertile ground for carrier Ethernet systems, and our equipment is already up and running at our new customers, regional German carrier htp GmbH [Hannovers Telefon Partner] and Macedonia's national operator Makedonski Telekomunikacii," says Atrica's marketing VP, Nan Chen.

He notes that carriers in the smaller, emerging countries are leapfrogging several generations of technology, migrating from old, incumbent analog systems straight to wide-area Ethernet, and that there's been a lot more interest during the current show. "This has been a very good event. We've been swamped."

Marconi Takes an Ethernet Step
British vendor Marconi Corp. plc (Nasdaq: MRCIY; London: MONI) launched the OMS2400, its new optical Ethernet product, here at CeBIT (see Marconi to Unveil Ethernet Platform).

Marconi's aim is to bring its experience from the SDH market into the Ethernet sector as the volumes of Ethernet traffic grow in carrier networks, says John Ash, director of product evolution at the vendor's optical network division. "This isn't just any old Ethernet switch," he notes. "It's a large Ethernet/MPLS switch that makes the progression from TDM to packet networking easier for large carriers that are looking to the next stage of their evolution. This is a product that fits into an existing transport network and works alongside existing SDH, WDM, and MPLS equipment, and it offers the same operational and performance characteristics as the carriers expect from their traditional TDM transport network equipment."

Ash says the OMS2400 offers greater Ethernet capacity and functionality than the vendor's OMS1664 multiservice switch, which incorporates Ethernet grooming and aggregation functionality and which has already been deployed by European operators (see Energis Uses Marconi MSPP and Belgacom Upgrades With Marconi).

But while the product is on display at CeBIT, it won't be commercially available for another nine months or so, which is when demand will kick in, reckons the Marconi man: "We're looking to intercept the market need for a product like this."

Marconi also announced a new European operator customer for its Access Hub product (see Marconi Lands Access Hub Deal).

Actelis Breaks New Ground
Ethernet-over-copper specialist Actelis Networks Inc. displayed the fruits of some European partnerships by announcing some new deployments -- one in Germany and another in the Netherlands (see Actelis Names Netherlands Customer, BITel Selects Actelis , and Actelis Signs Distributors).

The vendor, which recently announced its fourth round of funding, has been pushing its standards-compliant technology at the CeBIT event (see Actelis Claims Ethernet Bonding First and Actelis Raises $23M ).

Elsewhere on the show floor, RAD Data Communications Ltd. announced new customer premises products for service providers promoting Ethernet services to their enterprise customers, while Telco Systems (BATM) unveiled an Ethernet-enabled integrated access device for the delivery of multiple IP services, including VOIP. (See RAD to Show Ethernet Demarcation Devices, RAD Intros Layer 2 VPN Gateways, and Telco Systems Announces VOIP IAD.)

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

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