Ethernet equipment

Nortel Wins Dakota PBT Contract

Nortel Networks Ltd. received another endorsement for Provider Backbone Transport (PBT) today, as Dakota Carrier Network LLC chose the technology for its statewide fiber optic network. [Ed. note: North or South?] (See DCN Deploys Nortel PBT.)

Dakota Carrier Network announced it will be deploying Nortel's PBT products as part of a new metro Ethernet solution. The company will deploy the Nortel Metro Ethernet Routing Switch 8600 to enable PBT control over Ethernet. DCN will also use Nortel's Metro Ethernet Manager to provide service and trunk provisioning, fault management, and troubleshooting for the PBT network.

In looking at possible technologies for the metro Ethernet solution, Evan Hass, network general manager of Dakota Carrier Network, said PBT's ease of provisioning and quality of service made it interesting. He also said that Nortel's pricing was competitive with other solutions, but that his company was sold on the product's ease of use.

"It's a no-brainer if you're spending the same amount of money but one product is a lot easier to use," he says. "We're a small company in a small state, so it's critical to have something that our staff can easily provision, understand, and operate."

Mike Loomis, VP of Metro Ethernet Networks at Nortel, says the operational benefits of PBT are the "overriding factor in customer decisions" to deploy the technology.

Dakota Carrier Network is the third named customer for Nortel's controversial new technology, which aims to provide carrier-grade scaleability and reliability over low-cost Ethernet gear.

Nortel made a splash with PBT when it was chosen to be the technology of choice for the BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) 21CN next-generation network. Since then, Nortel has scored wins with BT and Frontier Online , which is a part of Citizens Communications Co. (NYSE: CZN). (See BT Likes Nortel's New Ethernet Flavor, BT Rethinks 21CN Core Strategy, BT Pressures Vendors Over PBT, PBT Gathers Support, Nortel on PBT: Today BT, Tomorrow the World!, Nortel, Siemens Win PBT Deals at BT, and Frontier Deploys Nortel PBT.)

Nortel has also tried to spread the word by building the Carrier Ethernet Ecosystem of technology vendors that wish to advance interoperability and joint marketing of PBT solutions. (See Nortel Pushes PBT Pact and PBT Parties On.)

Synergy Research Group Inc. analyst Ray Mota says Nortel's PBT push was a smart one, because it allowed the company to offer a differentiating technology rather than competing against MPLS players like Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) and Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR).

"If you're a small vendor, will operators talk to you if you're just offering MPLS? Probably not," Mota says. "It's difficult to displace something with the same technology."

— Ryan Lawler, Reporter, Light Reading

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