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Carrier Ethernet – Your Connection to the Future

November 2-3, 2010 marked the 11th annual Ethernet Expo Americas event, held in New York City, which brought together experts from all aspects of the data communications industry to explore the future of Ethernet in the coming decade. High-performance Ethernet, or Carrier Ethernet as it is more commonly known, is hands down the fastest growing technology in the industry. Overwhelmingly it is becoming the technology of choice for both LAN and WAN systems. This is mainly attributable to its price and performance advantages. These advantages have created a market that continues to grow and remain strong in spite of the current economic recession. The outlook for the future among leading experts remains optimistic. Ethernet out paces its more traditional counterparts: Frame Relay, ATM, and TDM private line services, which continue to post a general decline in both usage and revenues. Ethernet is growing beyond just telecommunication service providers. It is being adopted by many industries, including finance, healthcare, oil and gas, manufacturing, media, entertainment, law, transportation, education, government, and more. The biggest opportunity is expected to present itself through the backhaul of mobile broadband traffic over Ethernet connections; most notable is the anticipated growth of Wholesale Ethernet. Wholesale Ethernet is the selling of Ethernet services to other communications providers, including both direct sales to the provider, as well as indirect or ‘sell-through’ resale of the service. As the demand for increased bandwidth continues and the experience and confidence with public Ethernet builds, there is a surge of interest in Ethernet services, especially in the cellular market where the switch from TDM to Ethernet is in high-gear. Driving the demand for bandwidth is the astronomically growing interest in transmitting data and video. Lower bandwidth levels are expected to show the most rapid increase in Ethernet usage initially. Higher levels are expected to follow suit as demand will push the market to the 1Gbit level and beyond. While no one can predict the top speed that Ethernet transmission rates will achieve in the future, Buzz Lightyear is probably safe in assuming that his ‘to infinity and beyond’ is safe!
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