Wholesale Carrier Ethernet Demarcation Solutions

Wholesale Ethernet Service Demarcation

Wholesale EthernetWholesale Ethernet is the delivery of Ethernet services to out-of-franchise locations, and requires partnerships between Service Providers and Wholesale Access Providers. The Service Provider owns the customer relationship, and the Access Provider delivers off-net service connectivity.

A Heavy Reading five-year market forecast projects wholesale Ethernet revenues to grow by over 30% a year, and concludes that “Wholesale Ethernet is finally emerging as a major, thriving U.S. market.” This market growth is driven by demand for business services and mobile backhaul that connect customers regionally, nationally and globally across multiple operator networks.

The Off-Net Demarcation Challenge

Intelligent demarcation is needed for traffic management, performance monitoring and fault management. The challenge is how to deploy and maintain NIDs out-of-franchise where the Service Provider has no facilities or technical personnel to install and maintain the NID. Multiple NIDs also result in multiple points of failure. The retail Service Provider needs to deploy a NID for the end-to-end customer SLA, and the Access Provider needs to deploy a NID for the wholesale service SLA. Two NIDs, and sometimes three or four NIDs, are deployed at the remote customer premises. This multi-NID scenario creates several challenges: there are now more points of failure on the service, multiple NIDs processing data traffic can increase delay, and which NID is actually providing the UNI?

The iConverter HybridNID® solves this challenge with two Virtual NIDs (V-NIDs) in a single demarcation device. The HybridNID has separate and secure virtual management entities for the Service Provider and the Access Provider to manage the same device. This enables the Service Provider to monitor end-to-end service and the E-Access service without having to deploy another NID at the out-of-franchise customer location.

The Wholesale Interconnect Challenge

The other challenge with wholesale services is the complex and time-consuming process of interconnecting the wide variety of Carrier Ethernet services. Aligning the different SLAs and the Class of Service (CoS) between Service Providers at the Ethernet Network to Network Interconnect (ENNI) can take weeks of negotiation to create a single end-to-end service.

Carrier Ethernet 2.0 has addressed this challenge with the MEF 33 E-Access standard that simplifies the wholesale service interconnection. E-Access has simplified wholesale Ethernet to be as easy as deploying T1 services by reducing deployment costs and shortening time to revenue. E-Access provides several benefits to retail and wholesale service providers. Wholesale Ethernet access providers can generate revenue selling existing network footprint as Carrier Ethernet wholesale E-Access service. Retail Ethernet service providers can reduce the time and cost associated with reaching remote end-user locations, and minimize the number of custom interconnect agreements with Access Providers.

An MEF Service Provider survey shows that 93% of service providers will buy more wholesale services and 90% will sell more wholesale services. The wholesale Ethernet services market is booming, and CE 2.0 E-Access will further accelerate this growth. E-Access will open new opportunities with mobile backhaul services to cell tower sites, distributed cloud services, and global enterprise services.


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