Ethernet vendor ANDA Networks announced a flurry of news today, including a deal with Rogers Communications, the introduction of copper termination products and a partnership with Lucent Worldwide Services.
Rogers is the latest service provider that ANDA which has more than 3,000 systems deployed has added to its growing roster of customers. Other ANDA customers include Verizon Business Services, Bell Canada, Sasktel and several Chinese service providers.
Rogers is using ANDAs Ethernet gear to backhaul WiMAX and Wi-Fi traffic from wireless base stations to its points of presence. The ANDA wireless backhaul solution includes the vendors EtherEdge 4000 Ethernet aggregation and EtherReach 2108 gear. The value of the contract was not disclosed.
ANDA also is using TelecomNEXT to unveil formally its EtherReach 2118 and 2210 products, two low-cost end user devices to support off-net access over Ethernet. Extending Ethernet beyond fiber so it also can reach buildings served by copper is of key importance given that only about 11 percent of commercial buildings in North America and less than 5 percent of commercial buildings in the European Union are reached by fiber, said Greg Gum, vice president of marketing and business development at ANDA.
The No. 1 issue the carriers are now facing is How do I get ubiquity of the service with Ethernet, because when a business needs service to many sites, you need to deliver, Gum added. Delivering Ethernet over copper increasingly is the answer.
In addition to enabling service providers to offer Ethernet service even to those businesses not reached by fiber, these EtherReach boxes allow the service provider to offer individualized QoS for specific applications, services or users by leveraging the boxes 128 VLANs or policers.
These boxes also handle rate limiting in 64kbps increments the same increments used in frame relay and TDM solutions today, meaning service providers can more easily migrate their customers from those legacy services to Ethernet.
The first version of the 2118, offered at a base price of $1,925, will start shipping in April. The 2210, available in May, will start at $1,725. A version of EtherReach that will come out one to two month later will add Generic Framing Protocol, which will allow the box to connect in a standards-based way to larger Ethernet solutions from the likes of Cisco Systems Inc. and Lucent Technologies Inc.
Speaking of Lucent, ANDA also now has access to Lucents systems integration services as result of a deal between ANDA and Lucent Worldwide Services. Gum said that relationship will enable ANDA to participate in much larger deals worldwide.
Certainly, carrier Ethernet seems to be a hotbed of activity right now as the industry is moving to IP, and new applications like video and growing data application requirements are driving demand for higher bandwidth connections. Unlike its predecessor frame relay, Ethernet can easily scale as demand requires; economies of scale already present with Ethernet mean the gear is affordable; and its an IP-based technology.
ANDA offers a nice example of the benefits of Ethernet versus legacy services. Frame relay from Verizon costs $300 per meg, whereas Ethernet is just $100 per meg, said Gum, adding that because the cost of equipment to support Ethernet is less expensive, theres a two- to three-month return on investment with Ethernet. Also, he said, frame relay is inept at handling VoIP integrated with data, and streaming video, because of the latency, while Ethernet allows all those traffic types to converge on one pipe.
Those were the kinds of benefits that enabled the former MCI Inc., now part of Verizon, to win big Ethernet deals with ABN AMRO, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and Reuters, said Gum. AT&T was bidding frame relay when Verizon/MCI was offering Ethernet, he said.
With the telco consolidation, Gum said Ethernet only is growing in importance. AT&T and MCI/Verizon now both have big system integration plays, said Gum, so both are going actively to ensnare large business accounts. Theyre both using Ethernet as their next-gen products to bring those customers into the business fold. And the same thing is happening elsewhere in the world, he noted.
ANDA Networks www.andanetworks.com