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January 16, 2007

Nortel to Play Important Role in BT's 21st Century Network

By Anuradha Shukla, TMCnet Contributing Editor

Nortel (News - Alert) will reportedly play an important role in BT’s 21st Century Network (21CN) programme. As one of two suppliers of a carrier-scale Ethernet solution for 21CN, Nortel will exploit Ethernet in a fundamentally new way and is expected to drive a radical change in the economics of carrier networks.

The new Ethernet solution will be used by BT to transport high-bandwidth services, from mission critical business applications to full-streaming video with new levels of simplicity, quality and cost-savings.

Mike Zafirovski, president and chief executive officer, Nortel believes that BT is using Ethernet technology in a completely new way to provide an answer to the challenge of simplifying network management, redefining service quality and reducing costs.

According to Matt Beal, director core convergence, BT Wholesale, they were anticipating the widespread deployment of Ethernet in their 21CN architecture for a while but have been waiting for development to help make the technology viable for deployment in carrier grade networks.

Beal said that the implementation of Ethernet also complements fully BT's well established MPLS strategy within 21CN.

As an emerging IEEE (News - Alert) standard, PBB-TE (Provider Backbone Bridging Traffic Engineering) incorporates a set of enhancements to Ethernet known as Provider Backbone Transport (PBT) that allows the use of Ethernet for a carrier class transport network.

“As one of the early pioneers of PBT we have already witnessed significant movement in the market for metro transport networks as it splits between an evolution of a router-based approach and a movement towards Ethernet,” said Philippe Morin, president, Metro Ethernet Networks, Nortel, in a press release.

He continued: “Nortel believes that BT's thought leadership and the pre-eminence of its 21CN strategy will speed wider-scale adoption of Ethernet-based solutions. It will also help continue the momentum to standardize the technology through the recognized standards bodies.

Within very large carrier networks, PBB-TE promises to bring control to data paths. This capability enables true quality of service, meaningful service level agreements and the ability to set aside specific paths for communications, increasing network performance while providing carrier-grade resiliency.

Nortel made news last week when Kerzner International Limited, an international developer and operator of destination resorts, casinos and luxury hotels, selected Nortel hospitality solutions to enhance guest services at its new luxury resort, The Cove Atlantis.

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Anuradha Shukla is a contributing editor for TMCnet, covering call centers, CRM and information technology. To see more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.


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