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Ethernet-based public communication services: challenge and opportunity

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3 Author(s)
L. Zier ; Detecon Int. GmbH, Germany ; W. Fischer ; F. Brockners

Enterprises and residential customers increasingly take advantage of more sophisticated applications and evolve their business models. At the same time service providers face declining revenues from existing connectivity services. SPs respond to these trends and start to offer highly customized, high-bandwidth network services that complement and interwork with their existing leased line, ATM, or frame relay offerings. Ethernet is quickly becoming the customer UNI of choice. Ethernet, being a packet-based technology, complements IP-based services such as content, voice, data, video, and additional value-added services over a high-speed access connection. Ethernet also provides a flexible high-speed connection to the SP network and eliminates access bottlenecks. Using Ethernet as the common access interface, providers can employ flexible transport services that enable additional value-added services at layer 3 and above. At the same time the rollout of Ethernet services also challenges the installed base, given that bandwidth per customer is usually much higher and additional attributes for tight SLAs apply. This calls for an updated approach to network deployment and rollout: networks need to be planned and built in a service-centric fashion. Starting with a brief look at the driving forces for Ethernet-based public communication services, this article identifies five generic services for Ethernet MANs/WANs and discusses related deployment issues of the different service options, such as the degree of customization, geographic reach and bandwidth profile of the service, as well as evolution aspects of the installed base.

Published in:

IEEE Communications Magazine  (Volume:42 ,  Issue: 3 )