Facilitated by operator network migrations, enterprise demand, new application requirements, as well as by the inherent benefits of Ethernet technology, Carrier Ethernet services are poised to expand across Europe.
Carrier Ethernet is the name given to high speed Ethernet for Metro Area Networks. Unlike the usual Local Area Network, Carrier Ethernet goes outside the walls and connects buildings and whole areas like telephone wires would.
While some applications will take off later rather than sooner, they will nevertheless, generate a surge in demand for Ethernet services later in the product cycle.
Frost & Sullivan finds that Carrier Ethernet Services in Europe earned revenues of $1.10 billion in 2005 and estimates this to reach nearly $5.00 billion in 2012.
Carrier Ethernet services in the metropolitan space are becoming increasingly popular as the technology evolves and becomes standardised. The deployment of services such as triple play is creating a demand for Ethernet services in the metropolitan space for aggregation of data and transport in the backbone.
Furthermore, with the launch of third generation mobile services, mobile data usage is expected to surge along with wireless backhaul traffic, currently transported over connections averaging 2Mbps.
However, customer awareness is being affected by the limited footprint of these services. In the long haul, the offering of carrier Ethernet services is restricted. Few pan-European operators have a consistent offering across Europe, while national operators have been introducing long haul services only in the recent past.
Many operators have resorted to proprietary certification processes. Furthermore, operators with a large customer base have regarded the introduction of carrier Ethernet services as cannibalising revenues from legacy services.