Nokia unveils entry into router market

At SuperNet 2002 here, Nokia Corp. unveiled its entry into the edge router market with a product obtained from last summer's acquisition of Amber Networks Inc.

The ASR 2020 is a four-slot, 3RU chassis designed to aggregate ATM, frame relay, TDM and IP services at the edge and forward them over IP and MPLS paths. It supports over 10,000 T-1s per seven feet of telco rack space.

The ASR 2020 houses two routing control modules -- one a hot standby for the other -- and two line-card modules. Nokia claims the ASR 2020 provides 99.999 percent reliability and fault-tolerance by immediately rolling route processing over to the standby control plane, virtually eliminating IGP and BGP reconvergence and providing recovery in less than 50 milliseconds.

This is in contrast to the five-to-10-minute recovery time of current generation edge routers, Nokia claims.

The ASR 2020 is but the first in a line of fault-tolerant routers Nokia plans to roll out, which will all be designed to buttress the company's 3G mobile wireless initiatives, says Jack Yang, Nokia product marketing manager. Nokia plans to unveil a higher-density, higher-performance version of the ASR 2020 soon, he says.

Asked if Nokia has designs on the core, Yang would not comment, but said, "In the long run, Nokia is positioned to provide the entire networks infrastructure" for 3G.

Nokia is developing a mobile IP gateway called FlexiGateway that leverages the fault-tolerant AmbOS operating system of the ASR 2020, but Yang would not say when that product will ship. It will compete with a mobile IP gateway being developed under a joint venture by Ericsson and Juniper, he says.

Pricing for the ASR 2020 was not disclosed. The product has completed trials with some service providers and Nokia is currently negotiating sales with them, Yang says.

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