CARRIER ETHERNET DEFINITION
Carrier Ethernet is an attempt to expand Ethernet beyond the borders of Local Area Network (LAN), into the Wide Area Networks (WAN).
With Carrier Ethernet, customer sites are connected through the Wide Area Network. Carriers have connected the customers with ATM (Asynchronous Transfer Mode) and Frame Relay interfaces in the past. (User to Network Interface/UNI).
Carrier Ethernet is not about the Ethernet within the Local Area Networks.
Driver of Carrier Ethernet is; since Ethernet is the de-facto protocol on the Local Area Network, why not to use Ethernet everywhere, and not only within LAN. When any other Wide Area Network protocol is used such as ATM, customer Ethernet frame is encapsulated into another protocol.
This reduces the overall efficiency of customer service, consumes more network bandwidth, makes troubleshooting harder and many other drawbacks.
Carrier Ethernet is also known as Carrier Class Ethernet and Carrier Grade Ethernet.
Another reason for Carrier Ethernet is; Ethernet interfaces and the devices are cheaper compare to the other technologies. This result cheaper service to the customers.
CARRIER ETHERNET REQUIREMENTS
Traditional Ethernet lacks many features which are required to transport critical services, time sensitive applications and voice services.