Ethernet Everywhere

Om Malik writes:

I got a chance to chat with Bob [Metcalfe], and he said that it is time to stick a fork in SONET and other old school telecom networking technologies, that were more suited to the voice networks of the yore than modern broadband networks. Its time that we start seeing the Internet infrastructure move over to a new technology because of all these new applications, says Metcalfe.

I see Ethernet developing in four directions: UP, DOWN, OVER and ACROSS. UP in speed – whether we jump to 40Gbps or 100Gbps DOWN to the 8 billion processors shipped each .. OVER wireless links – WiFi, WiMax, ZigBee ACROSS the telechasm between LANs and WAN.

Service providers in Asia Pacific and Europe are turning to Ethernet, says Metcalfe. You see newer economies like India and China openly embracing the Ethernet bandwidth gusher. Cisco, for example has sold lot of gear to Tata Indicom Broadband Services, which is going to sell 10-to-100 megabits per second service to businesses in Bombay. Consumers are going to get the same Ethernet service for about $40 a month. Nearly a million customers are going to eventually connect to this network. Eight cities in total will eventually go online over Ethernet. Reliance is also building similar networks and are a big customer of Atrica, incidentally. In US, Cox and SBC are two of the incumbents who have expressed their pleasure with carrier Ethernet.

Core IP networks and routers have been shrouded in lot of mystery and magic, says Thompson. Ethernet is relatively simple and as a result you can have a simpler network. Ethernet thats an interesting trend. Metcalfe couldnt have said it better.

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.