Provider backbone transport technology may be the next evolution in Carrier Ethernet, and it is already spawning a new market segment for PBT control planes (how timely, as the season of growth and new life approaches). Soapstone Networks (formerly Avici Systems) was the first to realize the need for a separate PBT control plane to grant Ethernet more flexibility for multipoint-to-multipoint applications, but there may be more start-ups on the way with their own take on PBT control planes.
PBT remains a much-hyped technology with some carrier commitments, but it is still early in the game, so it will be interesting to see how many control plane start-ups enter the market and when. It also will be interesting to see if the big makers of PBT will feel the need to acquire control plane developers.
- check out this coverage at Telephony