Posted by: Tom Nolle
Carrier Ethernet, Metro Area Networks, MPLS
ECI is entering the Carrier Ethernet market, leveraging in part the MPLS tools that the company obtained from Laurel Networks when it acquired that company. This space is a critical one because it is the focus of some fundamental debates—is Ethernet a service framework or a metro architecture, and can it displace some or all of MPLS. We believe that Carrier Ethernet can be a service and metro architecture and can displace an important chunk of the MPLS opportunity, but only if providers understand how to build metro infrastructure from Ethernet and not just offer Ethernet services. ECI seems to be moving in the correct direction, but the details of its products are still too sparse to be sure.