Ethernet access does not require fiber. But this technology offers excellent scalability for VPLS and MPLS network access.
For the full year 2012, the global Ethernet access device (EAD) market grew 3.5 per cent, to $860 million, with growth slowing as a result of the economy and a drop in carrier spending.
“People keep saying that copper’s dead, but it’s not-it. It has a limited but important role for Ethernet services, as evidenced by the continued growth of using bonded copper for Ethernet in the last mile,” notes Michael Howard, principal analyst for carrier networks and co-founder of Infonetics Research. “High capacities and reach where fiber in unavailable make it a useful and effective alternative where fiber isn’t justified.”
“We expect operators to spend a cumulative $1.5 billion on EFM bonded copper EADs over the next five years (out of a cumulative $5.8 billion total for all EADs) as they increase the capacity and efficiency of mobile backhaul networks and business connections,” Continues Howard.
10/100M copper and 1G fiber dominate EAD ports today, however, 10G fiber is growing fast, forecast by Infonetics to grow at a 117 per cent CAGR through 2017. Though in slow decline, Ethernet over TDM (EoTDM) bonded circuits will remain a niche market, providing an inexpensive way to combine several E1s or T1s.
If you are thinking of obtaining a new wide area network, consider Ethernet access loops as a cost-effective and scalable access medium.