Telephony

Enterprise services steal Supercomm spotlight.

Byline: CAROL WILSON

Business services lack the sex appeal of IP video and triple-play offerings, but as Supercomm 2005 activity reinforced, new data services will be the primary revenue generators for the carrier community in its drive to a converged IP-based network.

Carrier Ethernet services, in particular, stole the spotlight at Supercomm, beginning with the Metro Ethernet Forum's initial demonstration of carrier Ethernet, based on its developing standards and certification programs. Its SuperDemo featured 30 member companies running live applications such as IPTV, voice over IP (VoIP) and Gigabit Internet access over a live network that met the 11 specifications of the carrier Ethernet standard.

One MEF member, Riverstone Networks, showed not only its Ethernet technology but also a customer, Telefonica, that is well ahead of U.S. service providers in migrating its network. The Spanish operator decided two years ago to stop investing in an ATM/SDH network and instead transition to Ethernet.

Luis Fernandez Vega, Telefonica's manager of technology planning and transmission, was on hand at Supercomm to talk about his company's aggressive move to all Ethernet. Within the next six months, Telefonica will merge its two separate Ethernets, one for business and one for its residential triple-play customers, into a single infrastructure.

"Within the next six months, we will have national coverage for our bundled service," he said. "We have been operating a network for residences and a network for business customers, but both have the same architecture, and we are trying to use the same technology solutions. By the end of the year, we will combine them, and we will be able to offer service to any customer from the one network."

The result will be substantial cost savings for the Spanish telecom provider he said, based on much simpler network operation. …

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