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 Thursday, 06 May 2010
ITU-T and IEEE will hold a joint workshop - The Future of Ethernet Transport - in Geneva, 28 May 2010. The workshop is the fifth in partnership with IEEE and follows two Kaleidoscope events and two workshops in the field of access and transport technologies.

Much work has been done in both organisations to progress Ethernet, developed as an enterprise technology, into a network provider technology or service. The event will focus on opportunities for further collaboration. Long-recognized as the ubiquitous LAN technology, Ethernet is now seeing increased attention as a carrier-grade technology. In part this is due to the convenience of being able to simply provide end-to-end service, but also carriers can realize savings both in terms of capital and operational expenditure.

Ethernet services are becoming popular because they allow carriers to offer considerably improved flexibility to customers through a much simpler and lower cost interface. Ethernet allows users to specify exactly how much bandwidth they want between the 10Mbit/s and emerging 100Gbit/s range currently offered. Further, as a transport technology Ethernet provides reduced operation complexity and improved scalability for carriers. And as operators look to NGN and the use of the Internet Protocol (IP), Ethernet is seen as the best fit, especially given the rise of such services as IP VPNs, VLANs and dedicated Internet access.

This event will review the work areas within ITU-T and IEEE 802.1/802.3 Working Groups on the development of Ethernet and related transport standards. The relevant standards groups are ITU-T Study Group 15 (Questions 6, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 and 14) on optical transport systems including protection switching and synchronization, and IEEE P802.1Qbf Task Force on protection switching, P802.1AS and P802.3bf Task Forces on Ethernet synchronization, and P802.3ba and P802.3bg Task Forces on 40/100 Gb/s Ethernet.

ITU-T and IEEE work’s work on Ethernet technology is complementary in areas such as such as ultra high speed transport, network architecture, services, operation and maintenance, protection switching and synchronization.  In general ITU-T develops requirements from a network operators’ viewpoint as well as functional level specifications, while IEEE develops detailed design specifications to allow implementation.

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