Ericsson-owned Redback Networks has launched a line of Ethernet switches aimed at collapsing wireline and wireless metro networks onto a single IP network.
The SM 480 switch, launched at Broadband World Forum Asia on Tuesday, is a subset of Redback's SmartEdge switch series that can handle both wireline metro Ethernet and mobile backhaul for base stations on one box, said Herve Brunet, Asia-Pacific sales and operations VP for Redback.
"Wireline and wireless can run off the same IP network, and operators have been converging their core and edge IP networks for some time, but the missing component has been a cost-effective way to collapse the networks in the metro," Brunet said.
The SM 480 uses the same OS as Redback's SmartEdge gear, giving it the flexibility to handle different types of connections - say, Layer 2 VPN, Q-in-Q, IP-VPN and VPLS - all on the same Gigabit Ethernet port.
"That same flexibility also allows operators to run DSL, FTTH, 3G and Wimax on the same metro network," Brunet said.
It also means that operators can unify its metro Ethernet architecture before deciding what services to run on it, he added. The SM 480 also features a control plane that can manage subscribers for both wireline and wireless services.
The SM 480 can be used for standalone metro Ethernet or mobile networks, but Brunet said the strongest value proposition is for fixed-line telcos with cellular networks.
The switch will be commercially available worldwide at the end of Q3