Why Ethernet is Replacing ATM in Carrier Networks

Joshua Johnson; Zhiyong Zou
June 2004
Business Communications Review;Jun2004, Vol. 34 Issue 6, p20
Trade Publication
ATM deployments in most carriers these days are in "maintenance mode," while the top equipment suppliers have halted further research and development in the technology. Indeed port shipments have been flat over the past two years. MPLS has emerged as the transportation alternative to ATM, starting at the network core. It offers a smooth migration path towards IP-based infrastructures, where development is taking place. Moreover, carriers are implementing MPLS without having to take current ATM applications offline. This is important to carriers from a profitability standpoint. Adding MPLS at the core also opens the door to more Internet protocol equipment in service provider networks, a move most expect will reduce both capital and operating expenditures by consolidating all traffic onto a single network. Also substantial innovations in software have brought to Ethernet switches many of the same features that customers appreciate in ATM, such as traffic prioritization. The newest version also offers features to support committed information rates and dynamic bandwidth utilization.


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