Viva Las Vegas – Carrier Ethernet alive and well at Comptel-Plus
Comptel-Plus is a carriers-selling-to-carriers event that always brings an interesting reality check perspective to an equipment vendor guy like me. Even with Sin City’s twinkling lights and cacophony of sounds for a backdrop, last week in Las Vegas was no different. My schizophrenic outlook vacillates between two extremes – one moment, I’m feeling like an interloper crashing a private party, and the next I’m believing this event is the center of the universe for all those carrier decision-makers who are eager to share the secret of what really makes their businesses tick.
One thing was clear, however: Carrier Ethernet is alive, well, and top-of-mind for this audience. The evidence was all around us – there were informative panels on “Ethernet over Copper” and “Thriving in 2011 with Ethernet Services.” The MEF built an entire theatre on the exhibit floor dedicated to showcasing the latest work on their “Global Interconnect” initiatives that promise to make wholesale Ethernet circuits more accessible (pun intended). And then there were the frazzled representatives from Carrier Ethernet specialists such as CENX running around, with absolutely no time to stop and chat because they were solidly booked in customer meetings and busily announcing deals with providers like Charter Communications.
We watched as the MEF presented certificates to Integra Telecom for achieving MEF 9- and MEF 14-compliance with their newly announced E-Line service offerings. Meanwhile, Sidera Networks unveiled its E-Connect Hubs that make wholesale Ethernet access services available to other providers at initial 10 ENNI access points, including Boston, Chicago, New York, Newark, Philadelphia, Toronto and Washington, DC. CenturyLink’s wholesale operations announced they were turning their focus to updating their Carrier Ethernet portfolio for business services and mobile backhaul. And if all of this wasn’t proof enough of Carrier Ethernet’s importance and viability, Telepacific, Windstream, Fiberlight and US Signal all debuted new Ethernet product offerings.
On a panel entitled “Thriving in 2011 with Ethernet Services” led by Overture Networks’ CEO, Jeff Reedy, panelists from Sidera Networks, Integra Telecom and Intellifiber presented several intriguing ideas. Contrary to what one might expect, there doesn’t seem to be a particular services “sweet spot” on the bandwidth continuum. Some high-end applications require ultra-low latency 10Gbps service connectivity, while other branch offices are thrilled with 10Mbps service. Yet, while every service provider’s idea of what is critical for Ethernet services is slightly different, they all agreed that being able to reach all customer sites with a consistent set of services is a key differentiator.
Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that my own company, Overture Networks, announced that its merger with Hatteras Networks was completed. As stated elegantly by CEO Jeff Reedy, the move creates a new Carrier Ethernet specialist that offers “the widest range of leading-edge Carrier Ethernet edge and aggregation platforms pioneered by two best-of-breed market leaders with established reputations for quality and excellence.”
Viva Las Vegas, indeed.
Join us again in a couple of weeks when we’ll report in from Light Reading’s Ethernet Expo in London – an exciting, very focused event that has historically served as the meeting place for key leaders of the Carrier Ethernet industry.