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10th anniversary approaches for MEF
Mon, 27th Jun 2011
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Nearly ten years on from the formation of the Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF), a move which saw the creation of the Carrier Ethernet sector, predictions are that the market may only be seeing the beginning of its full potential for growth. MEF says Carrier Ethernet services could grow from their current US$20 billion value to between $40 billion and $50 billion by 2014, at the same time offering benefits in cost, flexibility and capacity to countless businesses and organisations.

Driving the growth is the uptake by mobile phone providers, who have had to deal with a huge increase in data traffic driven by the rise in smartphones.

Michael Howard, co-founder of Infonetics, says the biggest early driver of Carrier Ethernet was carriers moving to IP networks.

"In the last year, if not in the last three, what has pushed it more dramatically has been video and mobile broadband,” Howard says.

MEF says the flexibility of the Carrier Ethernet is a key benefit, as network administrators can save money by running a ‘just in time’ WAN instead of having to over-specify the network service in advance to meet maximum likely loads.

While it was initially large businesses seeing the benefits, small and medium businesses have increasingly been utilising the Carrier Ethernet, MEF adds, with a rise in ‘internet exchanges’ meaning that small providers are able to commission immediate links without needing specialist skills.

For more information about the MEF, click here.