Nortel’s Switch Card Capitalizes on Next-Gen Networks

Pushing its OPTera Metro 4000 router to the next level, Nortel Networks
rolled out the Packet Edge 100 Ethernet switch card to
international carriers Monday.

The switch card capitalizes on a relatively widespread industry standard
for data transmissions, the synchronous digital hierarchy (SDH). The
standard was created by the older network’s inability to separate circuits
in a multiplexed (analog and digital) architecture.

SDH is the international equivalent of North America’s synchronous optical
network (SONET) architecture, approved by the International
Telcommunication Union. The ITU is a worldwide telecom standards body.

Using SDH, carriers can significantly cut down on bandwidth management and
delivery costs found in many of today’s networks, ultimately creating lower
costs for the end user: Internet service providers, corporations and local
exchange carriers (LECs).

Providers and corporations also need less routing equipment to support
their network and facilities between local and wide area networks
(LAN/WAN). Technicians need only install the “plug-and-play” card into the
OPTera Metro 4000 router.

The Packet Edge 100 also lets carriers provide a growing need for bandwidth
on demand, which lets users pay only for the bandwidth they use in a given
month. Bandwidth throttling, or “tunability,” service is also possible
with the new card.

Many carriers today use two multiplexing schemes in their
network: frequency division multiplexing (FDM — where each data packet is
assigned a different frequency) and time division multiplexing (TDM where
each packet is assigned a fixed time slot).

Marco Pagani, Nortel metro optical president, said the Ethernet card is the
result of rising demand by carriers using a SDH architecture in its networks.

“Our customers have a large installed base of SDH networks, and it is
crucial that we help them to realize their full value,” Pagani said. “This
Ethernet over SDH solution creates a new service for our OPTera Metro 4000
platform, enabling service providers to offer excellent service levels to
enterprise customers, and to provide greater granularity in the bandwidth
they offer compared to TDM.”

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