Ethos close to launching next-generation telco gear

SAN DIEGO – Wildly successful in the enterprise for decades, packet network Ethernet is now becoming the data transport for telephony carriers as a way to cut the cost of delivering services to customers.

This month Ethos Networks of Herzilia, Israel, showed off the second phase of a beta test of its wireline carrier solution, which expected to be available later this year.

Looking to expand in the U.S., six Israeli companies — Arx, DataEssence, Ethos Networks, mPortico, Sentrigo, and Tufin Technologies- demonstrated their latest security and enterprise IT technologies at the DEMOfall 08 conference here under the sponsorship of IDC Israel and the Israel Venture Association. Ethos Networks is one of a handful of companies in a new marketspace — connection-oriented Ethernet (CoE) — that is expected to grow dramatically. Last week, the Ethos Carrier Ethernet Transport Solution passed its first customer trial in Japan, said Yossi Shussman, Ethos Network’s chief executive officer.

“Ten years ago, telcos never thought their networks would look like they do today,” Shussman said. “There’s a huge opportunity is metro Ethernet.” Ethernet is seen as the next cost-effective network for carriers. But because it wasn’t originally designed for the moving massive amounts of rich-media data fast and always-on service, Ethos Networks and others companies including Nortel, Hwawei, NSN are modifying it with a new class of products — carrier Ethernet switches — to improve Ethernet’s ability to scale for millions of users doing more than talking over their phone.

Ethos and other CoE providers such as Ottawa’s Gridpoint Systems, compete against Cisco Systems, Alcatel-Lucent, Juniper Networks, Tellabs, and Ericsson, whose carrier products are for long-dominate SONET networks.

In 2007, the worldwide carrier Ethernet switching and routing equipment market was US$3.8 billion. Market researcher IDC is predicting that by the end of 2008, the worldwide carrier Ethernet market revenue will grow 24 per cent year over year to $4.6 billion. IDC projects the entire market will grow 17.5 per cent to $8.5 billion by 2012.

While migrating carriers off of SONET networks they have heavily invested in onto Ethernet takes convincing, Shussman said, “in 20 years, SONET will be obsolete.” Shussman said smaller telephony carriers are more likely to be the early adopters of next-generation CoE products because they are less invested in SONET and are looking for a product-edge to lower costs and be more competitive against the giants.

Ethos Networks also introduced its E-80 Ethernet service transport switch for delivering advanced, xmulti-tiered Ethernet services designed to help carriers generate more revenue. Now commercially available, the E-80 allows quality-of-service(QoS)-enabled services to be delivered over a provider backbone bridge– traffic engineering (PBB-TE) network.

Shussman said that unlike most switching products in the market, the E-80 was designed from the ground up as a PBB/PBB-TE Carrier Ethernet switch. It delivers programmable traffic management capabilities and allows upgrades to Ethos’ connection admission-control mechanism.

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