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Optical/IP

ECI Pumps Up TDM

That fancy packet-based stuff might be cooler, but ECI Telecom Ltd. is still proud to be putting out boxes with larger and larger capacity for Time-Division Multiplexing (TDM) traffic.

Earlier this week, the company announced its latest multiservice provisioning platform (MSPP), the XDM-3000, which expands TDM capacity to 240 Gbit/s. All of that capacity can be used for low-order switching, below the OC3/STM1 (155 Mbit/s) level, ECI says.

The pride for TDM comes from ECI's focus on emerging markets. There, it's finding carriers that need more backhaul for TDM-based mobile networks and aren't ready to make the switch to packet architectures, partly because data-traffic volumes still aren't that high.

"In India, for example, a lot of the expansion is related to simple voice calls, not data services," says Gil Epshtein, ECI's senior product marketing manager.

It's true that the MSPP market is growing, but TDM traffic isn't generally the reason, says Ron Kline, an analyst with Ovum Ltd.

"There's a much more powerful move to go to Ethernet," he says, explaining that this is reflected in carrier requests for proposals (RFPs) that have been more Ethernet-focused than multiservice lately.

Kline adds that as carriers get more comfortable with circuit emulation, they're likely to start putting more of that TDM traffic onto Ethernet pipes.

It's not like ECI is ignoring the brutally obvious. The XDM series supports Ethernet as well, with cards that include on-board Ethernet switches. That lets ECI pitch the usual story of allowing gradual migration to packets from TDM.

The strategy is apparently working: The XDM line has been a leader among packet-optical transport systems (P-OTS), according to Heavy Reading. (See ECI Claims Optical Lead.)

— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

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