Observations from Comptel PLUS Spring 2013 in Las Vegas this Week
Note: this article was adapted from one originally published in Carrier Ethernet News
COMPTEL PLUS, the annual gathering of competitive carriers and their ecosystem, took place this week in Las Vegas at the Aria Resort and Casino. As is usually the case at this well-orchestrated event, there were ample opportunities for networking and education on topics ranging from regulatory issues facing the carriers to Carrier Ethernet and Software Defined Networking.
The following is a loose compilation of my observations and a few photos to spice things up a little:
On day one, there was an interesting session on Ethernet over Copper, moderated by FierceTelecom’s Editor, Sean Buckley. Panelist included Overture co-founder and chief technologist, Prayson Pate; Adtran’s Kurt Raaflaub, Positron’s Sameer Shah and lone service provider representative Russ Shipley, SVP of Wholesale and Network Services at Telepacific Communications. This session hosted a lively discussion around the merits of Ethernet over Copper as an important component in the overall Ethernet access solution set. When asked by Buckley about how service providers can use EoC to address the “fiber gap”, Overture’s Pate said “they really need to use a variety of approaches to reach end customers – EoC is a critical part of delivering services where fiber is not yet available, and service providers recognize the importance of supporting a number of different access technologies, including optical and SONET/TDM”
In the MEF session entitled “Accelerating Business with E-Access: Buying and Selling Ethernet Services”, Global Capacity’s Mary Stanhope and Mike Gearin of tw telecom acted out a roll-play skit in a clever delivery of what may have otherwise been pretty dry material. Gearin said that the top two requirements when evaluating an E-access partner: “consistency and footprint”. Stanhope recommended that service providers ask themselves three things: “1) what are the coverage points - not necessarily volume, but the unique assets. 2) Where do the rates fall across the competitive landscape 3) what type of technology are you using to provide visibility into the network to measure SLAs”
The MEF also hosted a panel discussion on vertical markets moderated by Brian Walters, VP engineering, operations managed services at “WireIE.” Panelists included James Feger, VP of IP and Ethernet technologies at CenturyLink, Mike Perusse, CTO and SVP at Megapath and Scott Knox, director of solutions development at Overture. There were lively discussions about the value of CE2.0 certification, access to cloud services and support for multiple classes of service.
Tradeshows like Comptel PLUS are usually a great place for companies to make announcements about their latest product, partnership or new initiative. Here are a few related to Carrier Ethernet:
Windstream announced it has expanded its Carrier Switched Ethernet coverage, making it ubuiquitously available throughout its footprint. The areas with recently improved access include Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, New York, Philadelphia and Phoenix.
Omnitron Systems announced its recent CE2.0 certification for its iConverter line of Network Interface Devices (NIDs), including its hybrid NID variant.
Analyst firm, New Paradigm Resources Group, Inc announced the release of a new study that examines the competitive telecommunications market. According to Craig Clausen, NPRG’s executive vice president and principal analyst, the report entitled “The Competitive Carrier Market: Service Reach, Market Share and Growth Potential,” the report illustrates “not only how far these carriers have come, but also how much more opportunity for growth lies before them.”
Ethernet demarcation vendor Telco Systems announced that FORTHOUGHT.net – a service provider based in Denver, CO – is the first to deploy its latest T-Marc Carrier Ethernet/MPLS demarcation device. According to the vendor, the deployment includes more than 250 office buildings in the Denver metro area. In another announcement, Telco Systems declared their T-Metro 7124 S has obtained MEF CE2.0 certification.
Packet optical and SDN software vendor Cyan announced it is now shipping a single-slot 100G coherent transponder module for its Z-Series family of packet optical products. Intended uses include router 100G Ethernet interconnect and native 100G transport.
Wilcon, a Los Angeles- based service provider, announced it has deployed a metro Ethernet Network using Brocade MLX routers at the network core. The company claims to have constructed a resilient network to interconnect all of its data centers and PoPs throughout LA’s “telecom district.”
Northern New England’s FairPoint Communications launched CES Extended Connect wholesale Ethernet interconnect. The company’s next-generation Ethernet network covers more than 15,000 route miles and includes multiple classes of service.
DukeNet Communications – a regional fiber provider based in Charlotte, NC – announced that it has expanded its network footprint into Birmingham and Huntsville, Alabama; Athens and Atlanta, Georgia; Chattanooga, Knoxville, and Nashville, Tennessee; Richmond and soon Ashburn, Virginia.
Overture Networks, an innovator at the metro service edge, introduced a new vision called Ensemble Open Service Architecture™ (OSA). Ensemble OSA embraces an open ecosystem along with the principles of software defined networking (SDN) and network function virtualization (NFV) to transform static labor-intensive networks into dynamic, virtualized and automated environments for service creation and delivery.
As we wrap up the week in Las Vegas, we set our sights on Comptel PLUS fall in Orlando.