Alcatel-Lucent, NSN-Juniper pursue Carrier Ethernet opps

Carrier Ethernet remains an active growth sector in telecom, despite general economic nervousness and declines on overall carrier spending. A couple of announcements this week showed how vendors are positioning themselves to take more advantage. First, Alcatel-Lucent, still in recovery after a tough period and re-focusing some of its efforts in particular technology areas, announced a Carrier Ethernet framework and a new Carrier Ethernet access switch.

The company's 7210 Service Access Switch is designed for deployment at an enterprise customer's premises, extending improved service quality and guarantee capabilities into the enterprise, said Umesh Kukreja, director of IP market at Alcatel-Lucent. "Carrier Ethernet is being monetized by more residential, business and mobility applications," he said. "Service providers are envisioning a more application-enabled Ethernet, and this helps them provide that and manage it to guarantee quality."

Kukreja added that the 7210 SAS addresses the need for "service ubiquity," one of the concepts targeted by the vendor's new three-layer Carrier Ethernet Framework, made up of transport, service extension and application enablement. An Alcatel-Lucent spokesman said that the announcement also addresses one of the "key pillars" of the company's new strategic structure-"how to enable service providers to generate revenue through support of Web 2.0 services and other applications."

Research firm IDC has predicted that Carrier Ethernet will be part of a $12 billion market segment by 2012, and while that forecast is not lost on Alcatel-Lucent, neither does it escape the attention of companies like Nokia Siemens Networks and Juniper Networks. NSN and Juniper this week announced a strengthening of their existing partnership to produce an end-to-end Carrier Ethernet solution with "single-click" management capabilities to be available later this year.

For more:
- Here's the Alcatel-Lucent press release
- Here's the Juniper-NSN press release

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