Nortel card allows Ethernet service over SDH networks

A new switch card from Nortel Networks will allow European service providers to deliver their enterprise customers' Ethernet traffic across SDH (Synchronous Digital Hierarchy) networks, offering cheaper and simpler LAN-to-LAN connectivity, the company announced Monday.

The Optera Packet Edge 100 card is designed for Nortel's Optera Metro 4000 Multiservice plaform, and will let service providers offer Ethernet LAN-to-LAN services. Their customers will no longer need to buy and run their own router to send Ethernet traffic outside their LAN.

The card enables Ethernet private line (EPL) services, spokesman Ben Roome said. This is "the ideal method for service providers to provide an Ethernet LAN-to-LAN service," he said.

Nortel has been offering a similar product in the U.S. since the beginning of 2001, using Ethernet over RPR (resilient packet ring) on top of the SONET (Synchronous Optical Network) systems in place there, Roome said. Connectivity between the two is not a problem "because it's the same Ethernet protocol at either end, so it doesn't really matter what transport layer you use in between," he said.

German service provider LambdaNet Communications GmbH is already using the new card on its network, Roome said.

"LamdaNet is developing a new IP (Internet Protocol) VPN (virtual private network) service and using this to connect customers to point-of-presence located routers. They say this minimizes costs for the customer and eases the service provision," he said.

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