Alcatel Unveils Smaller Service Router

Alcatel has come out with a smaller version of its 7750 Service Router. The new 7710 SR allows Alcatel to expand its reach into smaller POPs in the rural areas of major carriers, as well as into mobile aggregation for wireless operators.

The 7710 also targets vertical markets such as government, utilities and finance that look like service providers, said Lindsay Newell, vice president of marketing for Alcatels IP Division, but he emphasized the vendor is not targeting the 7710 at enterprise customers.

The 5RU 7710 offers 12gbps of throughput, but is optimized for 1gbps increments, giving it the granularity it needs for the applications discussed above, Newell explained. He noted that Alcatels existing 7750 multiservice edge routing and 7450 IP Ethernet aggregation solutions were built around 10gbps increments. The key requirements of applications addressed by the 7710 are more about granularity, breadth of interface types and service types than about massive bandwidth, he added, noting service QoS is an important part of the solution.

In this compact footprint we still provide full redundant control and forwarding modules including our high-availability features, nonstop routing and nonstop services unique in this market, unique in the multiservice edge market, Newell said. Were the only vendor that can provide totally seamless failover for the IP control plane and all the services running through the router in the event of a significant routing problem.

In addition to offering the same high availability as the 7750, the 7710 also relies on the same OS, and both products also support the same features and Layer 2/3 capabilities, including common management, provisioning and troubleshooting. That means if service providers are familiar with the 7750, they dont have to go through new certification, verification and learning with the 7710, Newell said. And, he added, customers with the 7750 can use their existing media independent adapters in the new 7710, which also includes new compact media adapters (CMAs). The CMAs found exclusively in the 7710 occupy a fourth of a slot and are more for lower-density interfaces like DS1 and DS3, channelized all the way down to DS0. So between the existing and new media adapters, the 7710 can go from 64kbps to 1 gigabit Ethernet and OC12, Newell said.

Alcatel already has more than 110 customers in more than 50 countries using its IP gear. That includes a good number of major incumbents, such at AT&T Inc., for its LightSpeed project; Deutsche Telekom, which recently selected Alcatels IP gear for a next-generation initiate; and New Zealand International, which is Alcatels customer reference for the 7710 SR in particular. (In the fourth quarter of 2005, Alcatel held second place worldwide for IP edge aggregation with a market share of 25.8 percent, according to Synergy Research Group.)

New Zealand International, which delivers voice, data and IP service internationally, is using the 7710 SR to support its smaller POPs as it moves from ATM to IP/MPLS. As large carriers build out MPLS footprints more into access networks, they have smaller POPs where they need to connect and collect a mixture of services and technologies, Newell said.

The 7710 SR, for which Alcatel declined to provide pricing, will be generally available in the second quarter.



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