Uncommon Wisdom

Aug 2 2010   5:11PM GMT

AT&T hedges bets, taps three top vendors as domain suppliers

Tom Nolle Tom Nolle Profile: Tom Nolle

AT&T named Alcatel-Lucent, Cisco and Juniper as three suppliers in its IP/MPLS/Ethernet/Evolved Packet Core (EPC) domain, which is roughly what would be considered middle-mile or metro networking to most. The naming of three vendors isn’t really a surprise, even though the AT&T policy was supposed to be two vendors per domain, simply because all three vendors are already incumbent in that rather large and fuzzy zone.

What we also hear is that AT&T isn’t really totally sure what will be driving this particular domain, and thus can’t really be sure who the best two vendors would be. Cisco and Alcatel-Lucent both have credentials in mobile/EPC that Juniper lacks (so far, at least), but Juniper has been very strong in metro Ethernet overall and it has EPC aspirations and projects that AT&T is privy to, even though they’re not really officially released. To figure out who the real winners will be, we’ll have to see how AT&T balances projects that cut across domain boundaries.

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