PBB-TE Shares the Stage
At least in terms of vendor PowerPoints, MPLS-TP has become ensconced in the Carrier Ethernet core and perhaps beyond. (See PBB-TE Loses Favor in Packet-Optical, Asia/Pacific Warms to MPLS-TP, and MPLS-TP vs. PBB-TE.) And PBB-TE has certainly lost momentum. But that doesn't mean PBB-TE gets shoved off a cliff.
"The suppliers are going to be providing several different options. I don't think it's a religious war any more," says Heavy Reading analyst Stan Hubbard. "People will view it as, 'Let's use the best option to fit the application.' Those big battles that we saw vendors fighting a couple of years ago won't be that big any more."
Some carriers still carry the PBB-TE banner. Witness South African mobile operator iBurst Africa spelling out PBB-TE in its choice of Carrier Ethernet platforms. (See iBurst Deploys Ciena for Backhaul.)
That brings up an interesting point. Ciena Corp. (NYSE: CIEN) picked up technology from Nortel Networks Ltd. , PBB-TE's biggest supporter. (See Ciena Beats NSN to Buy Nortel's MEN and Ciena Nets PBT Man.) But Ciena had already struck a PBB-TE course with the acquisition of World Wide Packets. (See PBT Key to Ciena Acquisition.) That gear isn't really part of tomorrow's conference focus, but its success in wireless backhaul, with operators like iBurst, would seem to indicate that PBB-TE is still finding a place in the network.
"You can't really say PBB-TE is dead, I don't think, if the World Wide Packets stuff is doing well," Heavy Reading analyst Sterling Perrin says.
— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading