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Nortel Leads New Carrier Ethernet Ecosystem To Meet High-Capacity Demands Of Carrier Networks


CHICAGO – To further its first-mover innovation advantage in carrier networks, Nortel* [NYSE/TSX: NT] today announced the formation of a Carrier Ethernet Ecosystem focused on allowing carriers to meet the explosion in demand on metro area networks from video, VoIP and other real-time communications. By advancing the benefits of lower cost and simplicity for carrier Ethernet networks, the new ecosystem will serve as a partnering framework for the industry’s best solution providers to adopt Ethernet as the preferred means of information transport in carrier networks.

Already the new group has achieved an early demonstration of interoperability which is being displayed at this week’s NXTcomm industry event in Chicago. At the show, Nortel, Hammerhead Systems** and Extreme Networks** are transporting carrier Ethernet traffic among disparate networks over Provider Backbone Transport (PBT) links, while maintaining the known network paths across the network infrastructure. This allows network operators to know exactly how their information traverses the network, making networks agile, as well as easier and less expensive to operate and maintain.

“Carrier Ethernet transport is gathering momentum in the Provider Backbone Transport area (PBT and PBB-TE) with necessary new activities. Nortel’s establishment of the ecosystem and the interoperability demonstrations at NXTcomm are proactive and natural steps in what is already an exciting market space,” said Michael Howard, principal analyst and co-founder, Infonetics Research.

The new members of Nortel’s new Carrier Ethernet Ecosystem are: ANDA Networks, Axerra Networks, Extreme Networks, Hammerhead Systems, Lightstorm Networks, Meriton Networks, RAD Data Communications and Soapstone Networks.

The establishment of the ecosystem and the interoperability demonstration are among a series of actions Nortel is taking to build momentum in the market following its win with BT’s 21st Century Network (21CN) in January. That deployment, along with customer interest in the Company’s PBT technology, has led to an opportunity for significant improvement in the cost and performance in metro networks.

“We’ve seen growing interest in Ethernet transport and inquiries about our PBT solution have increased significantly since the BT 21CN win,” said Philippe Morin, president, Metro Ethernet Networks, Nortel. “Our demonstration here at NXTcomm shows that PBT-enabled carrier Ethernet solutions are interoperable. Working with other independent vendors enables more comprehensive development of PBT and the associated tools needed to easily deploy it. We are committed to working with the ecosystem partners to spur the rapid adoption of PBT-enabled carrier Ethernet worldwide.”

As part of this initiative, Nortel is creating an Innovation Center for Carrier Ethernet at its Ottawa campus, allowing partners to rapidly develop and pre-test services without requiring a live, in-service PBT network. The center will allow partners to work towards a certificate of compatibility to enable rapid deployment of PBT-based technology, as well as provide assurance of interoperability among solutions.

Nortel’s Carrier Ethernet Ecosystem will bring together industry hardware and software vendors as well as component and tool suppliers to participate in creating interoperable carrier Ethernet solutions. As part of today’s announcement, Nortel is inviting additional customers, vendors and suppliers interested in joining the ecosystem or wanting to learn more about it to visit


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