LTE—the Carrier Ethernet Way
Long-Term Evolution (LTE) is generating quite the buzz these days—and with good reason. LTE can carry more voice, video, and data traffic than ever before. As high-speed voice, video, and data services such as Internet access, Internet Protocol TV (IPTV), and video-on-demand continue to gain momentum, LTE will be critical to the success of service providers as they deal with the exploding demand for these bandwidth-intensive applications and services.
While legacy networks such as time-division multiplexing (TDM) and asynchronous transfer mode (ATM) support LTE to some degree, they require the addition of IP backhaul to do so. This creates a challenge for service providers as they now need several networks to support one up and coming technology. And quite frankly, by doing so, service providers must be prepared to spend additional money.
The key is to stay ahead of the curve by transitioning legacy networks to Carrier Ethernet-based transport networks to keep up with the growing demand for bandwidth and ensure networks are prepared to deliver the high performance and services needed for LTE. Carrier Ethernet brings the ability to manage and grow high-speed LTE networks more easily than competitive technologies.
If It Ain’t Broke…
You might be thinking, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” right? Well, not in this case. If service providers don’t prepare their networks for these next-generation applications, they’re going to be left in the dust, investing even more time and money into something that will not support future applications and services. Carrier Ethernet technology solves the gap that exists today in 3G where bandwidth is growing disproportionately in relation to the revenues that suffer from flat rate models.
“The economic downturn favors Carrier Ethernet technologies and products, as they are a less expensive alternative to legacy equipment. In fact, service provider investment in carrier Ethernet equipment is growing faster than overall telecom CAPEX (capital expenditures). Carrier Ethernet is one of the key technologies globally integral to IP next-gen network transformation projects pushing the move from TDM to packet-based networks,” states Infonetics in its recent report, “Carrier Ethernet Defying the Downturn.”
“These IP NGN (next-generation network) projects depend heavily on IP, MPLS (multiprotocol label switching), and Ethernet, and gradually will employ the use of Ethernet transport instead of Sonet/SDH. Service providers spent $17 billion on Carrier Ethernet equipment in 2008, and will increase their spending every year at a healthy clip over the next five years,” Infonetics also notes.
While in today’s market, driving down costs is a major benefit to a Carrier Ethernet-based network, several other factors prove Carrier Ethernet to be transition-worthy.
For example, Carrier Ethernet has already proven itself as a superior technology for enterprise, Metro Ethernet, and 3G. It is now key for driving down CAPEX and operational expenditures (OPEX) in carrier deployments.
More importantly, the quality of service (QoS), reliability, and scalability provided by Carrier Ethernet-based networks provide for a larger network that can handle more users while maintaining high-quality applications and services. In fact, the QoS enabled by Carrier Ethernet is much higher compared to legacy networks, as it provides for service level agreements, bandwidth profiles, class of service, high service availability, and more.
MEF On The Move
If that isn’t enough to sway you, the Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF) is driving this worldwide adoption of Carrier-class networks and services, and its emphasis most recently has been on extending service models to the access in the first mile and wireless backhaul. MEF is continually adding new features to Carrier Ethernet to better manage, service, and operate the network, and it is on a mission to ensure that these networks continue to advance.
Most recently, the MEF 22 agreement has added features such as Ethernet-based operation and maintenance (OAM), improved QoS capabilities for sensitive real-time applications such as IPTV and Voice over IP (VoIP), flexible service provisioning, and synchronous Ethernet for wireless backhaul. MEF 22 also enables fixed-mobile-convergence.
So while many people in the industry may tend to see LTE for the “buzz” that it has at the moment, the truth is service providers must look to the future now and find a way to support these new technologies that are surfacing. I like to say, “Work smarter, not harder.” By investing in a Carrier Ethernet network, that’s exactly what providers will be doing.
Want to use this article? Click here for options!
© 2013 Penton Media Inc.
Acceptable Use Policy blog comments powered by Disqus
Most Popular Stories
CTIA Wireless IT & Entertainment 2010
Read the latest from the show...