BT's PBT D-Day

2:45 PM -- Light Reading is hearing from reliable sources that BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) has made some strategic 21CN technology decisions that favor MPLS over PBT as the technology of choice for metro packet transport. (See A Guide to PBT/PBB-TE.)

Official confirmation might be a while in coming, but it seems that BT's new influx of pro-MPLS technologists has won the day, and that the British carrier's next generation 21CN will not, after all, be chock-full of the new carrier Ethernet technology.

Such a decision has looked increasingly likely in recent weeks. (See BT Still Coy on Ethernet and BT Reconsiders PBT Plans.)

Such a move would be good news for the likes of Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU), Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), and Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR), all of which are MPLS vendors at BT and vocal critics of the PBT camp's claims in the past.

It would also be bad news for the PBT supporters' camp in general, as BT has been the technology's lead carrier supporter up to now. But it would be particularly bad for Nortel Networks Ltd. , which had started supplying BT with PBT-enabled Ethernet switches, as it has no MPLS fallback -- the Canadian vendor has really thrown its weight behind PBT.

It's also negative, though to a much lesser extent, for Nokia Networks , BT's other named PBT switch supplier. NSN hasn't been too involved in the early deployments that BT had started to make, as Light Reading understands, and has a multi-technology strategy, something it has been keen to stress of late (with some degree of foresight, it would seem). (See Nokia Siemens Clings to Juniper.)

While BT's U-turn doesn't kill PBT, it will deal the technology a significant blow to the nether regions. The fallout might be ugly and fascinating in equal measures.

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

Be the first to post a comment regarding this story.
Sign In