The carrier ethernet

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PART A: Introduction and Background

This part shall include:

History and origins of this new standard, system, technology or protocol

Ethernet was developed around the 1970s by Xerox Corporation by an experimental coaxial cable network to transmit data up to 3 Mbps. In the 1980s speeds of up to 10 Mbps Ethernet Version 1.0 specification was developed. 3 major influences contributed to the development of Ethernet whose Corporate names are Digital Equipment, Intel and Xerox.

IEEE 802.3 covered 3 standards of Ethernet and what is commonly known as the CSMA/CD Protocol. The 3 famous data rates are as follows that operate over optical fiber and twisted pair cables which are 10 Mbps-10Base-T Ethernet, 100 Mbps-Fast Ethernet and 1000 Mbps-Gigabit Ethernet. GigE stands for Gigabit Ethernet, FastE is short for Fast Ethernet, EoC is an acronym for Ethernet over Copper, Metro Ethernet.

Carrier Ethernet Way to deployed

  1. Conventional or "pure" Ethernet
  2. Ethernet over Synchronous Digital Hierarchy (SDH),
  3. Ethernet over Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS)

Carrier Ethernet use the high-bandwidth Ethernet technology internet access and for communication among business, academic and government local area networks (LANs). It has become dominant in enterprise networks. This dominance has led to high volume components, which in turn have allowed extremely low cost per bit. It has also a long history of re-inventing itself. From the original copper coaxial cable format it has extended its scope to nearly all copper, optical fiber and wireless physical media. Bandwidth has continued to increase and growing by ten times each time a new rate is defined.

Carrier Ethernet services can be defined as:

Carrier Ethernet services

E-line - a service connecting two customer Ethernet ports over a WAN, E-LAN: a multipoint service connecting a set of customer endpoints, giving the appearance to the customer of a bridged Ethernet network connecting the sites

E-tree - a multipoint service connecting one or more roots and a set of leaves, but preventing inter-leaf communication.

Internet connections became more stable and wireless connections became available. So, carrier Ethernet connections offer the T series of connections. Carrier Ethernet technology used within a metropolitan area network (MAN) is known as Metro Ethernet. The industry has concerted to resolve the limitations of Ethernet in the WAN described above to allow the use of "native" Ethernet technologies by network providers. The key role has been played by the IEEE 802.1standards committee, which has responsibility for the Ethernet standard. It has addressed the scalability and management issues in the standards for Provider Bridges (802.1ad) and Provider Backbone Bridges (802.1ah). These standards allow for Ethernet networks of planetary scale. Associated standards (802.1ag and related ITU-T standard Y.1731) provide Operations and Maintenance (OAM) capabilities allowing connectivity verification, rapid recovery, and performance measurement. Current work on PBB-TE (802.1Qay: Provider Backbone Bridging-Traffic Engineering) is allowing such an Ethernet to be controlled by an external control or management application (for example, a network management application or a transport control plane such as GMPLS (IETF RFC 3945)), so as to allow the full range of traffic engineering policies and strategies to a network provider.


Ease of implementation removes bottleneck for cost saving implementations by overburdened IT departments, scalability is the key. Traditional WAN infrastructures can't scale or meet new performance requirements to match application growth. Need to simplify delivery of new applications and services, end users want control of their IP routed networks, storage and business continuity systems. Reliability and Integrity are a given.

For an enterprise IT Manager, Carrier Ethernet has flexible bandwidth, high quality of service attributes, transparency and it is available in all locations.

For a developer of business applications, it enables the development of applications to a common service platform without many of the previous restrictions. For example, applications that could only be accessed in certain locations via unpredictable, ad-hoc network connections.

For internal or external application users, they want to access to more applications from a wider variety of devices, in a wider variety of locations, and in a wider variety of countries.

Current status: technical and commercial;

The Carrier Ethernet technology nowadays begins moving on. New capabilities and features are being deployed that go further than the minimum requirements established by MEF, ushering in the age of what we at Ciena define as True Carrier Ethernet.

In a nutshell, True Carrier Ethernet goes beyond standardized service definitions into technology and operational advancement that improves an operator's ability to deploy, provision and manage cost effective Ethernet based solutions. True Carrier Ethernet brings about additional benefits in each of the core five Carrier Ethernet qualifiers set out by the MEF.

True Carrier Ethernet enables operators to optimize bandwidth, network paths, and reliability alternatives without sacrificing service quality or selection for standardize services. This is enabled by supporting all MEF services across any topology and different tunnel encapsulation formats. True Carrier Ethernet enables carriers to leverage existing network investments and select, mix, and match the wide-area services that best meet their needs today and in the future.True Carrier Ethernet improves reliability for the service. With True Carrier Ethernet advances delivering a wide range of capabilities and features that enhance the key Ethernet business service attribute, service providers can realize new levels of speed, agility, and performance in the deployment of revenue-generating services.

Carrier Ethernet (CE) is the extension of Ethernet technologies beyond the LAN into Metro and Wide Area networks (MAN/WAN). This move is driven by the need to provide flexible, higher bandwidth and lower cost interfaces when compared to existing TDM service networks. These extensions stem from the market need to support high-speed Ethernet interconnect for Enterprise customers, Ethernet wireless backhaul services, support for IPTV services using Ethernet, and increased residential Internet access speeds.

MEF has defined point-to-point (E-LINE), multi-point (E-LAN), and tree (E-Tree) topologies for Carrier Ethernet services. This extends and modifies the external behavior of traditional Ethernet for use in operator networks.

When it comes to linking sites across towns or regions, Carrier Ethernet first choices with its ability to adapt bandwidth and services to meet demand, rather than impose major upgrade decisions such as installing an additional leased line. Service providers are moving to all-packet metropolitan networks and Ethernet transport is increasingly used even for non-Ethernet service delivery.

Main player in this area

The main player (top market sectors) in Carrier Ethernet is: Finance, Education, Health Care, Government, and Media.

In the finance sector, Chicago Mercantile Exchange is the World's largest and most diverse exchange (12 x NYSE+NASDAQ). Their Carrier Ethernet decision is to switch from Frame Relay & ATM based on scalability, reliability, simplicity, and reduced latency. EVPL is the solution. As the result, customer satisfaction archived and they can be platform the future.

The example of main player in education sector is Bergen County School and New York Law School. The Bergen County School has about 2,000 full time students, 20,000 adult students, so they need collaboration, higher bandwidth, and lower costs. The New York Law School has "impossible" installation timeframe met, they need seamless virtual LAN, higher bandwidth, much reduced costs, and new applications.

The Healthcare sector uses Carrier Ethernet services is because of, impact of Carrier Ethernet that enabled local access to medical images creating dramatic impact for patients on time and travel, ease of deployment, cost savings and newly enabled applications.

The application profile used by government sector is web-based applications, flexible SLAs and TCO/ROI. The Top Applications used by government staff is site-to-site access, server consolidation, disaster recovery, service orientated architecture, and internet access

One the media sector, the application profile needed is scalability, reachable, convergence demands on low latency, low frame loss, minimum frame delay variation, high performance networks of video streaming media.

Part B: Technical Review

Carrier Ethernet technology

Nowadays, communication networks are evolving, and more people and devices are connecting to the network, which require higher bandwidth for the information, the development of internet streaming like video and audio services have lead to people more bandwidth hungry. All of this will require new transport technologies to allow carriers to keep up with the increase in high-bandwidth services. We are quickly moving beyond people-to-people connections to an era of "hyper-connectivity" in which not just people are connected but devices and sensors as well.

The growing demand for bandwidth-hungry services and applications, service providers are going to face huge capacity and transport challenges across all their networks which through wireless, wire line and cable.

Carrier Ethernet and optical innovations enable service providers to use Ethernet one of the super-fast transmission technology for delivering mission-critical, high-bandwidth services like IPTV, mobile video, and business multimedia on a global scale across metro and regional networks. Carrier Ethernet technologies are 30 to 40 percent less expensive than comparable MPLS and VPLS transmission technologies.

Carrier Ethernet for Business - Future Developments

  • Case studies and experience of deployment, and lessons learned from case studies (Some of these can be found in the MEF interactive section of the site and also in the Presentations section of the Information Center)

Carrier Ethernet in the Access, Metro and Core

  • This section of the site gives information on Carrier Ethernet in the first mile, in cable domain, the wireless access and backhaul.
  • Development from its origins and into the future is chronicled below.

Ethernet over SDH/SONET

Point to Point Ethernet links are carried over SDH/SONET networks, making use of virtual concatenation (ITU-T G.707) and LCAS (Link Capacity Adjustment Scheme - ITU-T G.7042) to create an appropriate size carrier bundle, and of Generic Framing Procedure (ITU-T G.7041) to encapsulate the Ethernet frames. It re-uses of the installed base of SDH equipment, and took advantage of the management and recovery features of SDH to provide high availability and resilience to failures.

Ethernet over MPLS

Some of the Ethernet services are carried over IP/MPLS networks making use of a wide range of IP-related protocols. Ethernet links are transported as "pseudowires" using MPLSlabel switched paths (LSPs) inside an outer MPLS "tunnel". This strategy can support both point-to-point, and it also called as Virtual Private Wire Service - VPWS and multipoint, and it also called as Virtual Private LAN service - VPLS services, and has recently achieved significant deployment in routed networks. It makes use of a number of basic transport protocols including SDH and (increasingly) Ethernet.

Carrier Ethernet Beneficiaries

  • Disaster recovery, business continuity
  • Low cost bandwidth and low latency
  • Internet Access
    • Support future very high bandwidth applications
    • Carrier Hotels interconnect and hosting co-location becoming Ethernet only
  • Control
    • Allows far better flexibility to make the network change to meet varying application demands then previously available
    • Seamless dynamic control of the network with familiar tools
  • Performance
    • Low latency inherent with Ethernet layer two networks
    • Low frame delay variation, critical for video transmission
  • Cost Reduction
    • Simplified technology brings lower cost and products that consume less power
    • Certified services dramatically reduces installation cost and complexity
    • Bringing the cost model LAN based Ethernet to the wide area network
    • Speeds implementation of new applications

PART C: Technical Potential

Other solutions and technologies in related R&D areas or commercial markets

Carrier Ethernet Engineering Research and Development (R&D) leader rapidly bringing new and innovative products and solutions to market. Carrier Ethernet measured hands-on leader with proven management and collaboration abilities.

Carrier Ethernet is adopted by the Service Provider and enterprise end-user community not only the default access solution, but also being employed end-to-end across the WAN.

While Carrier Ethernet is being embraced aggressively, evident by the number of Service Providers offering these services and also by the promising growth predicted, it is important to note that Carrier Ethernet still accounts for a relatively small portion of the addressable market. In fact, a study by the Vertical Systems Group (VSG) indicates that it makes up less than 5 percent of business service spending on telecom services. As Carrier Ethernet services are begun to grow, they have to address the Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) that make up the larger part of the enterprise market opportunity.

However, Carrier Ethernet still a work in progress which being more formally defined, and refined based on learn­ing from real-life field deployments supporting emerging applications. If it is to achieve the success and dominance of its LAN variant, it has not only incorporate these les­sons rapidly in terms of new value-added features, but also standardize them.

Comparison and analysis of different technical solutions and choices:

Identification of the technical advantages and disadvantages of the chosen topic



  • Manage Ethernet network and control ip routed network worldwide.

Multipoint connectivity

  • One time can support million of user in a wide area network.

Flexibility and adaptability

  • Carrier Ethernet enables flexible service agreements for applications which can have unpredictable and varying bandwidth requirements.

Standardizing on Ethernet reduces complexity

  • It creates a standardized Service Level Agreement to connect all user and granularity of bandwidth and responsiveness as applications demand.

High-speed, low-latency service is easily upgraded by changing the service policy

  • Provide speed up to 10,000 Mbps and can be expand in the future.


  • Carrier Ethernet are expected to support mission-critical applications in a wide scale, and the ability to detect quickly and remotely any failures that may arise in the physical infrastructure or in the Ethernet services layer underlying these applications is essential.


  • One of the fundamental different between LAN with Carrier Ethernet. In service provider network, there are usually a hundredfold more end users and as a consequence, exponentially more connections for Ethernet-based application.

Cost savings

  • Bring the cost model of Ethernet to the wide area network.


SDH-based systems are inflexible and may not offer the desired level of bandwidth management when network communications volume fluctuates rapidly.

Carrier Ethernet bandwidth bottlenecks that can occur when a large number of small networks are connected to a single larger network.

Only suitable to wide area network. If apply this technology in a small area network, the cost much higher.

Your comments on the technical potential of your chosen topic

Carrier Ethernet still have potential to expand in the future because it can provide the higher bandwidth and support million of users one time. The scalability of Carrier Ethernet differentiates it with the LAN network, which there are usually a hundredfold more end users and as a consequence, exponentially more connections for Ethernet-based application. The reliability of Carrier Ethernet is the ability to detect quickly and remotely any failures that may arise in the physical infrastructure or in the Ethernet services layer underlying these applications is essential. Carrier Ethernet can support and cover the wide area of network thus it is essential to implement in the Ethernet architecture which support large amount of user. Besides that, Carrier Ethernet also stable than other type of technology like wireless technology. Wireless technology can be affected by some factor, example: signal and weather condition, and Ethernet seldom meet these problems because it is applied to the larger area network and unaffected from the interference of signal. As a conclusion, Carrier Ethernet and provide stability and higher bandwidth network in wide area network.

PART D: Commercial potential

Existing commercial services and solutions in the market;

  • Existing commercial services:
  • In Malaysia, there are several existing commercial services of carrier Ethernet. TM (Telekom Malaysia) is a main carrier Ethernet services provider in our country, Malaysia. The Ethernet services are offered as alternative solutions to the current global MAN/WAN services and is enhanced to support multimedia applications for Layer 2 enterprise networking, with higher bandwidth capacity at the simplicity of native Ethernet connectivity. TM Ethernet services; which includes Global Metro Ethernet service and International Ethernet Private Line service, is part of TM's initiative in providing the Next-Generation Network (NGN) services over converged network infrastructures.

    TM Global Metro Ethernet is a flexible, reliable and secure bandwidth connectivity service, based on carrier-class Ethernet technology. It is designed to accommodate the growing enterprise demand for higher bandwidth capacity. Bandwidth offering is scalable from 1Mbps to 1Gbps. Private and secure connectivity is established. International Ethernet Private Line (IEPL) is a end-to-end managed bandwidth solution that provides dedicated, secure, point-to-point, cross-border connectivity over a reliable platform at high speeds, with the option of scalable upgrades by utilizing Ethernet over SDH technology.

  • Solutions in the market:
  • Innovative businesses today are using Carrier Ethernet Providers. Metro Ethernet is actually a network where people are connected through wide or local area networks. The factors that affect its popularity are not just one. Some conclude that it is now a cheaper cost yet the quality of service remains. The functions are more simplified, and its reliability along with the speed is what makes it advantageous. The solution Metro Ethernet ensures is that it will provide quality and speed to the application.

    Ethernet is becoming more known because of these reasons. It is said that with a single protocol, IT staffs are using it as an easier process. Additional protocol is avoided and businesses can manipulate this situation with the use of Carrier Ethernet.

    End users seek connectivity that possesses higher bandwidth speeds. Ethernet Internet providers are supporting the demand by the application. The improvement still continues and is increasing. Aside from that, network strategies enable to support the demand. The services are used mainly in locations like the metropolitan area. Replacement of flexible and new capacity erased the old network technology. The Internet and communication in this era is becoming key and is quickly transforming services like electricity and roads. Because of this, the ability of Carrier Ethernet has simplified the business and improved performance and started the recovery of financial disaster.

Market needs and requirements differentiation;

The growth of Carrier Ethernet in 2009, although modest, is coming amid a downturn. This is due to a better range of products, progress on standards and interoperability through bodies like the Metro Ethernet Forum as well as a competitive push from both local carriers and regional/global carriers offering international services. Verizon Business, Reliance, Tata, AT&T, and SingTel are some of the region's more vocal advocates for simplifying enterprise services across an Ethernet platform.

By the end of 2009, carrier Ethernet will account for just under 2% of total carrier revenues in Asia Pacific. Even seems small, but the impact Ethernet is having on networks and end-user choice is much bigger, which is harder to measure. In a tough economy, enterprises are looking for ways to cut costs and Ethernet's low cost and simplicity come in handy. Ethernet services continue to be extremely popular in Japan with a wide range of vertical markets. Japan remains the single-largest market worldwide for Ethernet services, and is far larger than all other Asian markets. The estimate of Japan's enterprise Ethernet revenues grew modestly from $4.9 billion in 2007 to $5.1 billion in 2008. As the economy stabilizes and enterprises have more confidence in making decisions about service migration and expansion of services to additional sites and/or higher bandwidth, the Japanese Ethernet market should see a return to growth.

From user's and designer's perspectives, can this new standard, system or technology address a real need in current and future market? Justify the commercial advantages and disadvantages of this new solution;

Carrier Ethernet (CE) services generally refer to the standardized carrier-class transfer services that feature in excellent scalability, reliability, manageability and Quality of Service (QoS) guarantee, and are offered by carriers to users based on Ethernet technologies. The carrier Ethernet application segment addresses a wide set of carrier needs that require capabilities available on products that fall within traditional switching and routing, wired and wired line access, and optical networking technology segments. Carrier Ethernet spending is growing solidly and will continue to do so through 2014, driven by the growth in bandwidth requirements in the metro that comes with triple-play and 3G/4G wireless builds, the rollout of E-Line and E-LAN Ethernet services.

  1. The Advantages
  2. Carrier Ethernet offers several key benefits like High bandwidth - 4x to 7x - over comparable access technologies, Scalability - incremental cost to add capacity is low compared to legacy technologies, which tend to scale linearly, Versatility - runs over copper, fiber, microwave, Low cost, Simplicity.

    Ethernet is the most cost-effective way to deliver these IP services. Fortunately, with the advent of Carrier Ethernet for the access, aggregation, and core network, carriers are now able to operate Ethernet as a WAN technology. Carrier Ethernet removes layers of complexity from the network, thereby enabling service providers to more effectively meet customer demand. Carrier Ethernet platforms can bring a significant cost saving to the carriers (in terms of both capital and operational expenditures).

    The main advantage of Carrier Ethernet is the carrier speed. Carrier Ethernet technology when provisioned over a fiber optic cable could provide a flexible variation of speeds equivalent to 10Mbps (Ethernet), 100Mbps (Fast Ethernet) and 10,000Mbps (Gigabit Ethernet). With such flexibility, it further makes it desirable with lower costs as the carrier Ethernet service providers tend to have nationwide backbones and local fibers dedicated to the metropolitan areas.

  3. The Disadvantages
  4. There are several disadvantages of using carrier Ethernet services, the disadvantages of it listed as below and depend to the situations:

    First, Carrier Ethernet can providing higher connection speed compare to traditional internet connection services, however, when living closer to the provider's central office gives us a faster DSL connection. Second, data being received is faster than data being sent over the Internet. Third, the Carrier Ethernet service availability can be limited to certain cities, so not everyone can get this service.

Your comments on the commercial potential of your chosen topic

In my opinion, a Carrier Ethernet service is a best technology because it can provides high speed internet and data transfer service of lower cost per bit. With a high speed internet connection, there will be more convenience to every users. For enterprise, Carrier Ethernet provides high speed data transfer and internet connection speed which can save cost, save time and increase workers working efficiency. The most attractive for Carrier Ethernet is the high-speed, Carrier Ethernet technology when provisioned over a fiber optic cable could provide a flexible variation of speeds equivalent to 10Mbps (Ethernet), 100Mbps (Fast Ethernet) and 10,000Mbps (Gigabit Ethernet) suitable for future world with high capability of internet access era.


Carrier Ethernet services have been on the rise in recent years, but vendors and operators alike are starting to move away from Ethernet's fast, cheap broadband pitch in favor of something with a little more value: optimized applications and services.

Technically, Carrier Ethernet can be supported over different physical transports. Carrier Ethernet supports backhaul of all mobile generations over a single pipe. Carrier Ethernet enables high, scalable, and flexible bandwidth at lower cost. Five-Nines availability, redundancy , and OA&M supported using Carrier Ethernet. Carrier Ethernet positions the RAN for WCDMA, LTE, and WiMAX backhaul.

In Commercial, User can connect to one site or many by using point-to-point E-Line Services and Multipoint E-LAN Services.

In the Enterprise, the first segments to benefit are Health Care, Finance, Education and Government. The attractions to the IT departments are control, reliability, performance, scalability, cost reduction and simplicity of implementation for organizations that are usually under-resourced.

We predict that the market for Ethernet services continues to grow, and in turn so does the market for Ethernet technology. Equipment vendors are adding more Ethernet functionality to their gear and advancing the capabilities of existing Ethernet technologies.

In my understanding, Carrier Ethernet was a ubiquitous, standardized, carrier-class service and network with 5 main attribute: standardized service, reliability, scalability, Service management, quality of service.

Today we demand any application, any connectivity, on almost any device, whether accessing information or entertainment delivered via voice, video or data. We need connected to the office when we're at home, and connected to our home when we're at work. Wherever we are, we want always to be able to connect, any time, 24/7/365, on demand and wish the performance better be good. All the characteristics of Carrier Ethernet able to provide what we desire. Carrier Ethernet has always promised simplicity and low cost, however, delivering intelligence simply makes things more complicated and makes it cost more.

As time goes by, no doubt the Ethernet Services will give advantages in Ethernet Technology and provide innovative new service features. Its clear that Ethernet Services will continue to provide the benefits of simplicity, cost effectiveness and flexibility for wide range of applications.


  1. Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF)
  2. International Engineering Consortium (IEC)
  3. Nortel: Technology Innovation: Carrier Ethernet Technologies
  4. IEEE 802.3-2005: "Carrier sense multiple access with collision detection (CSMA/CD) access method and physical layer specifications", 2005.
  6. McFarland M, Salam, S., Checker R. Ethernet OAM: key enabler for carrier class metro ethernet services; Communications Magazine, IEEE Volume 43, Issue 11, pp. 152 - 157 Nov. 2005