The Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF) has launched the Carrier Ethernet standard and certification programme to address the increased demand from enterprises and carriers for Ethernet-based equipment that can serve wide area networks.
Ethernet has traditionally been used to serve local area networks in enterprises, but the growth of Ethernet in Wans or “metropolitan” networks means users and carriers need a standard to make sure equipment can support minimum levels of service, says the MEF.
Analyst Infonetics Research estimates the Carrier Ethernet equipment market should exceed $2.7bn (£1.5bn) by 2008.
“Carrier Ethernet sets a new benchmark for wide area communications, including internet and wireless applications,” said Ron Young, co-founder and board member of the MEF.
“The MEF certification programme will accelerate the adoption of Carrier Ethernet by helping service providers evaluate the equipment of various vendors and makes it easier to provide the key features of Carrier Ethernet,” said Young.
Equipment meeting the Carrier Ethernet standard will have to support rapid service creation, smooth scalability to 10 Gbps (gigabits per second) data speeds, end-to-end protection, robust service level agreements and flexible support for voice, internet, and multi-cast traffic.