Nortel chooses Ethernet over optical fiber

Nortel Networks Corp. yesterday announced its strategy to use 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10 GE) over optical fiber to simplify network management and to speed traffic between the enterprise and long-haul optical connection points.

Nortel's technology is in part based on a new 10 GE interface for its 8600 Switch Router, said Clive Foreman, vice president and general manager of optical Ethernet at Brampton, Ontario-based Nortel. The company made the announcement at the Networld+Interop conference. The new technology is intended to ease congestion and simplify complex systems in connecting enterprise networks to long-haul optical networks in metropolitan areas.

The 8600 can be used to connect enterprises to metropolitan-area network service providers and is compatible with Nortel's Optera line of dense wave division multiplexing equipment, which transmits multiple wavelengths of network traffic over a single optical fiber.

Nortel officials said yesterday that a regional China Unicom Ltd. operator in the country's Guangdong province was piloting the 8600 in a network that will provide Ethernet-based virtual private network services to eight areas of the province. The product won't be widely available until late this year, according to Nortel, and pricing has not been set.

In a separate announcement yesterday, Nortel said it would ship a new voice over IP (VoIP) phone server, the Succession 1000 Enterprise Server, in July. It's the key component of an all-IP phone system, Nortel officials said. Unlike Nortel VoIP phone systems that use VoIP capabilities added into private branch exchange (PBX) systems, the Succession 1000 can be deployed as a pure IP-based telephone system over a data network, or it can be used in conjunction with PBX systems for gradual migration to VoIP.

Nortel officials wouldn't give a price for the new VoIP system; instead, they said it was priced competitively with standard digital phone systems that cost about $500 per installed phone.

This story, "Nortel chooses Ethernet over optical fiber" was originally published by Computerworld.

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