By Zia Askari
Keeping in mind today’s scenario where telecom operators are facing intense competition, their profitability is at stake and at the same time there is an ever increasing demand for new age services. In order to tackle this situation, operators require high-availability of performance, business agility and resiliency of services which can only be driven by Carrier Ethernet as a carrier-class access technology.
Talking about Carrier Ethernet adoption in India, Anil Reddy, Director, Global Business Development, ADVA Optical Networking, says that one of the main drivers for Carrier Ethernet adoption in India is the growing demand of high-bandwidth applications at increasingly lower costs.
“Hence networks must support both existing and emerging services, including Enterprise business services, residential services, mobility services, and wholesale services. The applications supported by these services include video, voice, and high-speed data services for Internet access, private IP, or Ethernet VPNs. ADVA Considers the Key market drivers for Ethernet adoption in India as –
a. Low Cost and high bandwidth assured service delivery
b. Dynamic Bandwidth demands and cloud adaptability from Enterprise customers.
c. Mobile backhaul requirements driven by high bandwidth 3G and 4G technologies.
d. TDM replacement is equally gaining speed, driven by more service intelligence, flexibility and lower service cost.”
According to Gulshan Khurana, Vice President and Practice Head, Fixed Broadband & Convergence, Ericsson India, Ethernet transport is gaining momentum due to its capabilities to launch application on a faster time to market and ease of integration.
“Leveraging this, Ericsson has launched a complete solution built around an end to end IP availability, from Access Nodes (Cell Sites) to the Core of the Network. This solution is termed as “Evolved IP Networks”. It is an “End-to-end IP infrastructure From any Access, to the Internet, and Everything in between”, fully tested and verified solution, which is Future-proof, supporting traffic growth & new applications,” he explains.
Size of Indian Market
Though India was late adopter of Carrier Ethernet deployment due to existing large SDH deployment base, rapid bandwidth demand by residential, enterprise and mobile backhaul has forced the carriers and mobile operators to deploy CE networks as soon as possible. SDH transport replacements along with access are the major areas that are driving deployments of carrier Ethernet in India.
“Service provider investment in carrier Ethernet is growing faster than telecom CapEx. Service providers globally are investing heavily for good reason. Carrier Ethernet technologies and products are a permanent, ingrained and inseparable part of service provider networks, manifested in access, aggregation, core, metro, and longhaul. Carrier Ethernet products are used in nearly every part of service provider networks: for customer access, mobile backhaul, mobile core, broadband, broadband backhaul, and optical transport,” Anil Reddy from ADVA adds on.
As per the views of Gulshan Khurana from Ericsson, the big deployments would happen in the Transport space where new Access Techniques like LTE/WiFi are being launched and a tremendous growth in 3G data consumption is being seen. “The Application and video growth together, along with Enterprise and M2M communication will demand a massive growth in the transport segment where Ethernet plays an important role,” he adds on.
Advantages of CE for Operators
As today’s service providers require innovative, scalable network that is just right for tomorrow’s new, bandwidth-intensive services such as IPTV, video on demand (VoD), gaming, and voice over IP (VoIP), Carrier Ethernet driven solutions that provide better agility, drive intelligence, and integration will provide operators a golden chance to materialize new age market opportunities.
One of the big advantages for the IT leaders is its dynamic ubiquitous global and cloud connectivity using Ethernet.
Lower cost compared to TDM and other legacy service.
Ethernet does not need gateway to convert packet-based enterprise infrastructure to TDM.
SLA assured and extensive performance reports with customer portal offering.
More service flexibility (QoS)
Speaking about the unique attributes of Carrier Ethernet, Adrian Scrase, Head of Mobile Competence Center 3GPP and CTO, ETSI said that there is no doubt about the advantages that Carrier Ethernet brings for the operator community. “There are many advantages that Carrier Ethernet brings to the table such as high availability of quality bandwidth and at a reduced price points. This surely opens up new possibilities for operators and is also helping them towards utilizing Carrier Ethernet in backhaul as well. However, in places where we do not have fiber, only satellite based communication becomes a viable option as of now,” he explained.
Ethernet provides, one solution for all sites, simplifies support and IT infrastructure system development. It also drives reduced lead time to connect new offices locally and globally.
“Ethernet is instrumental in delivering guaranteed performance and predictable SLA assurance across the sites. It also provides lowest degree of complexity with ubiquitous service delivery and most importantly, helps operator to future proof their network to support growing bandwidth needs with less or no effort,” Anil Reddy from ADVA explains.
Challenges with Carrier Ethernet
Carrier Ethernet does come with its own set of challenges and for a vast country like India, one of the biggest challenge comes in the form of fiber deployment. However, as Indian government is already committed towards increasing the fiber connectivity through the ongoing NOFN (National Optical Fiber Network) project, this should further deepen the fiber roots in India and hence make it easier for operators to look for Carrier Ethernet as a viable access technology.
“Availability of fiber is a big challenge as copper does not scale. Expertise in packet technology with the operators is another challenge. We simplify operations by plug-and-play functionalities. Standardized service handover at NNI is another challenge. MEF is driving standardization and we already support all functions needed for unified handover (E-access). ADVA Future proof MEF 2.0 complaint Carrier Ethernet solutions offer Simplified operations with low touch provisioning and Comprehensive SLA assurance OAM & reporting, Products designed for robust performance, Stability along with Sync delivery and assurance are some of the unique features that bring lot of value to Carriers,” Anil Reddy from ADVA explains.
As operators continue to meet the next generation demand of their customers, they are embracing next negation networks and hence, legacy SDH/TDM, will be gone in few years from now.
Too many advantages on the Ethernet services and infrastructure side would translate towards faster adoption of this access technology in the near future. Moreover, growing bandwidth demand both on Enterprise and mobile backhaul side will go a long way in accelerating the legacy replacement.