Ethernet over Copper: Five Benefits for Business Services
[This article originally appeared in a FierceTelecom eBook]
Today’s business applications depend on IP and Ethernet protocols, and Carrier Ethernet has emerged as the wide area network (WAN) technology of choice for enterprise access. Whether used for dedicated Internet access, connections to private cloud applications or virtual private networks, Carrier Ethernet promises an efficient, simple, scalable and cost-effective solution. Vertical Systems Group projects worldwide Ethernet for business applications will grow at a compound annual growth rate of over 18% through 2015.
Among technologies that deliver Ethernet-based business service, fiber optic connectivity is preferred for its near limitless capacity and reliability. But Ethernet over Copper (EoC) has become a strategic choice for delivering competitive Ethernet services. Here’s why:
- It’s Ethernet
Many technologies promising broadband to consumers and businesses are typically used only for Internet access or basic voice services. Ethernet, as defined by the Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF), meets business-class symmetric service requirements, providing scalable, reliable, manageable features with quality of service options. Contrasting other broadband technologies, EoC delivers the MEF-compliant, business-class Ethernet enterprises expect.
- Fiber options can be limited
Nearly 70% of business locations in the US can’t access fiber. These locations may not warrant the cost of fiber and those that do may not be able to wait 6-18 months to “light” their building. Yet, all business facilities are connected to the legacy copper voice network where EoC can be turned up in a matter of weeks. Many providers have found they can increase their addressable market for high-speed Ethernet services by ten-fold with EoC compared to a fiber-only strategy - an attractive proposition.
- EoC delivers on par with fiber
Today, nearly all service providers have Ethernet service offerings, including many premium products backed by service level agreements (SLAs) supporting multiple services and multiple service classes. The leading EoC solutions include identical management, resiliency and QoS features as their fiber counterparts, allowing providers to deliver a customer experience equal to fiber-based Ethernet services.
- Technology innovations dramatically advance EoC capabilities
From just 2.3 Mbps per pair in 2003 to over 15 Mbps symmetric per copper pair today, service providers deploy 200+ Mbps Ethernet over a new generation of EoC edge and aggregation equipment by bonding multiple copper pairs at a fraction of the cost of fiber-based Ethernet services.
- Advanced service management makes it easy
EoC solutions with zero touch provisioning, built-in diagnostics and intelligent demarcation features ensure dramatically simplified service delivery. Quickly turning up services and assuring service performance meets SLAs, while troubleshooting network problems on the fly, gives service providers control over the entire service path between network hand-off points at the UNI and ENNI.
Simply Good for Business
The immense popularity of Carrier Ethernet for business WAN service creates demand that cannot be met with fiber alone, however, advances in EoC give service providers and network operators plenty of good reasons to make it a strategic part of their technology mix.