Mid-band Ethernet has its day

One of the side stories of the carrier Ethernet market boom is the emergence of mid-band Ethernet as an alternative to traditional T-1 service. Some industry observers saw BellSouth's mid-band Ethernet deployment in 2006 as a sign of cautious optimism that major telcos now see it as a viable solution. Kevin Sheehan, CEO of mid-band Ethernet equipment vendor Hatteras Networks, believes (of course) that the kid gloves indeed are offer and deployment will continue to progress in the coming year.

I recently spoke with Sheehan about the market's evolution, and you can click here to read that interview. Hatteras made news as BellSouth's initial supplier, but one of the things that must concern small equipment vendors these days--and which admittedly Sheehan doesn't quite directly address in the interview--is what happens to early adopter deployments when the carriers making them get consolidated into larger firms. Will AT&T's acquisition translate into bigger business for Hatteras or a far greater business challenge to overcome?

Can small vendors still thrive in a consolidated carrier market? I'd like to hear your opinion, so send me an e-mail. - Dan