Enterasys Networks' enterprise networking arm, Cabletron, has launched its Multi-Protocol Label Switching (MPLS) solution for routing technology, aimed squarely at aiding service providers in controlling network traffic to network switches and therefore differentiating their service levels.
Geared at the telecommunications and ASP markets, the hardware-based MPLS can be implemented in all of Enterasys' RS 3000 routers, enabling "fine-grained (network) grooming" via traffic segregation for metropolitan area networks, Enterasys executives said.
"The product itself lies in the (telco's) billing," said Ian Fewtrell, managing director of Enterasys. "It's about granularity - you're able to determine who's using this, how and how much."
"Telcos have to provide proof of quality of service for their customers and differentiate their service offerings for the consumer," he continued. "The telco is bound to the customer and quality of service ties in with customer management."
The new RS product line can be connected to all commonly-used carrier technologies, from legacy TDM services through to the latest optical networking equipment, a company statement said.
MPLS also allows businesses using fundamental enterprise applications like SAP or PeopleSoft to both prioritise bandwidth by user, and select wire speed on a range of devices, Fewtrell said.
He asserted networking competitors Cisco Systems and Nortel were "not even in the ball game" in offering solid business opportunities for the channel. "That's what customers are telling us," he claimed. "The benefits of MPLS will be in the add-on services and consultancy."
Enterasys will sell MPLS through VARS, telco customers and existing reseller partners including Compaq, Logical, Nomad, Amron and United Energy Communications.
Fewtrell told ARN Cabletron was also negotiating a $34 million contract with a "major Australian carrier" to deploy MPLS among mid-level corporates.
He forecast MPLS would generate $10 million in revenue over the next six months.
The base MPLS implementation is available now for Gigabit Ethernet and Packet-over-SONET line cards.