Next gen ethernet

Next gen ethernet

Andy Hollingworth

Andy Hollingworth

Andy Hollingworth, Opal’s Director of Wholesale, explains why he believes Next Generation Ethernet is the Future of Networking

The increase in unified and online communications means that bandwidthhungry data and conferencing applications, such as hosting, cloud computing and multimedia video services, are becoming more strategically important in reducing business overheads and driving efficiencies. Savvy partners need to ensure their product sets are equipped to meet these demands and are turning to faster, more reliable next generation networking to do just that.

For those who now want – or indeed need – to diversify to higher bandwidth / availability services, Next Generation Ethernet represents the future, allowing partners to benefit from simplicity, cost-effectiveness and flexibility. The emergence of Next Generation Ethernet in the wholesale market presents a huge opportunity that partners of all shapes and sizes simply cannot afford to ignore.

As we know, market conditions have changed quite dramatically, with end-user customers looking for greater efficiencies, savings and performance from any ICT investment that they make. However, as they are increasingly finding, delivering Ethernet across traditional legacy networks creates a complex, inefficient and relatively expensive service, meaning it may no longer measure up to these new demands.


The business case for NGN operators to supply fibre-based Ethernet is certainly strong when you look at the proposition on offer, and is one partners should not ignore. With impressive productivity gains, vast cost efficiencies, and optimised performance, the depth of the NGN means that Ethernet-based networks are significantly less expensive to deploy and manage than traditional WAN technologies.

Next Generation Ethernet does not lose any of the compelling ‘business’ features such as synchronous upstream and downstream bandwidth which can run at any rate from 10Mb to 100Mb (and beyond), re-grades to bandwidth that can follow an organisation’s changing bandwidth requirements from SME to a large corporate as well as Service Level Agreement to fix technical issues in less than six hours.

Couple this with a competitive cost structure made possible due to the high density of Communication Provider unbundled exchanges, and the case for partners to switch to fibre-based Ethernet over NGN to gain competitive edge certainly becomes compelling.

Another key selling point of Next Generation Ethernet is how it seamlessly integrates with existing legacy networks, enabling organisations to slowly incorporate business processes into the next generation platform without throwing away their original IT investment. This helps negate the all-too frequent end-user or partner perception that it is yet another complicated and expensive technology that needs to be adopted – rather than recognising the huge opportunity it is.

The scaleability and flexibility of NGN Ethernet is also worth a mention. For large, technically proficient partners, operators, such as Opal, now have the ability to offer wholesale fibre-based Ethernet services, operated across their networks – offering a solution that is a high-revenue, mass market replacement for leased line and existing Ethernet services.


For those larger partners who have sufficient internal technical capability and prefer to manage their own IP networking, fibre-based Wholesale Ethernet will offer them a connectivity solution over which they can build their own VPNs and services to meet their end customer needs. For other partners, the lower prices created by an operator’s ability to provide a single fixed, distance-independent charge may prove to be the attraction in the current climate. Additional added-value benefits include enhanced fix times within the Ethernet SLA and higher bandwidths which make Next Generation Ethernet an obvious choice for commercial sites that cannot tolerate long outages and have higher demands on bandwidth.

Next Generation Ethernet offers a scaleable solution for the customers of mid tier and specialist partners, increasing available bandwidth seamlessly as their end-customer’s business needs change. To compete in a converged world, channel partners must think beyond the traditional minutes model and look to Next Generation-based technologies that can carry voice and data as the most viable source of revenue growth, or risk being left behind.

Partners need to look at their current business models and ask whether they could be delivering more for the same price, or whether there is opportunity to increase the margin available to gain that much needed competitive edge. Offering Next Generation Ethernet services is the way to do it.

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