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Carriers Double Use Of MPLS Thanks To VoIP, IPTV

Carriers and service providers are investing heavily in metro Ethernet and IP multiprotocol label switching technologies as they charge ahead to bring new converged services to market according to a new study from Infonetics Research.

According to "Service Provider Plans for IP, MPLS, and ATM: North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific," the number of carriers investing in MPLS-based metro Ethernet equipment doubled last year, from 42% to 84% of companies surveyed. The increased investment is being driven by the real and expected surge in traffic accompanying the introduction of new converged services like voice and Internet television (IPTV), according to Infonetics principal analyst Michael Howard.

"IPTV and broadcast video, which loom large in many carriers' plans, will create a huge increase in traffic when it becomes prevalent," Howard said in a statement. "Carriers expect decreases in legacy service revenue (ATM, frame relay, leased lines), but expect big increases from IP VPN, VoIP, and metro Ethernet revenue, and those planning broadband and IPTV expect sizeable revenue increases from those services as well."

Some 44% of broadband carriers in North America, 60% of their counterparts in Asia-Pacific and virtually all European carriers plan to deploy Ethernet digital subscriber line access multiplexers this year. More than half of carriers worldwide expect to participate in inter-provider quality of service (QoS) to support converged applications.

Infonetics notes that the cellular base station backhaul has emerged as one of the hottest areas of investment. More than half of the carriers surveyed over some kind of mobile voice and data services, with 73% of those planning to build their own backhault networks.