Nan Chen first became involved with Carrier Ethernet in the later part of the year 2000, and he has continued to stay involved. In the early years he and a group of others worked together to develop common standards to help carriers deploy Ethernet on an end to end basis. That group was called the Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF) and it has grown to include over 170 Companies and has recently celebrated its ten year anniversary.
The MEF has now developed a service and product certification that is quickly expanding. Providers have seen the value in being certified in a common interconnection process so certification has rapidly expanded.
Nan next saw a driving needs for common interconnection points and this became the driver for establishing CENX to facilitate interconnection for providers. CENX started in 2009 with three interconnection points that included Los Angeles, New York and Chicago. It recently added a site in Washington DC. “Our expansion is driven by both customer demand for new locations and customers’ successful use of CENX’s exchanges, as demonstrated by Verizon’s announcement today of its expansion with CENX to Washington, DC and Los Angeles” said Nan Chen President of CENX.They now have ten interconnection points with more to come.
CENX is one of the more connected Carrier Ethernet Exchange delivering carrier-neutral and collocation-neutral Carrier Ethernet Exchange interconnect services to global, regional and local telecom/internet service providers. They recently added PLDT and TELSTRA as customers on an international level. In addition to having a large number of active Carrier Ethernet Exchanges and connected membership, most importantly, CENX provides access to more than 15 million ESLs (Ethernet Service Locations) worldwide. CENX simplifies, integrates, monitors and expedites services, enabling vast revenue opportunities, dramatic cost-saving and Carrier Ethernet global ubiquity.
CENX's services include: flexible physical and virtual interconnect, expert service alignment, and real-time service management, together with an overarching CENX Market, a member-tailored marketplace for buying and selling service providers. These services are delivered via the CENX System: a resilient, distributed, integrated hardware and software platform located at strategic interconnection points (e.g. carrier hotels) around the world, enabling convenient connection to CENX by its service provider members. CENX maintains carrier-neutrality by providing MemberLink, facilitating worldwide connectivity. CENX fully supports all five attributes of Carrier Ethernet but also supports the integration of other Ethernet services as required.
Dramatically increasing numbers of mobile applications are spurring demand for carrier-class Ethernet in cell site backhaul. This trend is causing network operators to incur significant costs and delays in acquiring, integrating and managing diverse Ethernet access providers in an effort to create ubiquitous Ethernet backhaul coverage. The integration and ongoing management of multiple Ethernet access providers is complex and costly, and requires a scalable, world-class solution.
CENX’s Carrier Ethernet Exchange for Wireless Backhaul Service operates at strategically located CENX Exchanges that serve as aggregation points for various Ethernet wireless backhaul access providers. It eliminates the need by the wireless carriers for costly and cumbersome Ethernet backhaul service integration, resulting in significant cost savings. In addition, CENX enables ubiquitous, end-to-end service inventory and monitoring, regardless of the backhaul operating model (wholly-owned vs. shared infrastructure), the myriad of backhaul access providers or the diverse backhaul technology (switched vs. dedicated) or media (e.g., fiber, microwave, copper). Collectively, this provides wireless carriers with a normalized view of the operating state of all its backhaul services on per service basis.
CENX also provides off-net service-level monitoring for Carrier Ethernet services. This is done from their central NOC as well as their redundant back up NOC. This new capability yields compelling cost, time and quality of service advantages for service providers interconnecting via a CENX exchange. Instead of running blind or deploying expensive customer premises equipment, a service provider needing to reach Ethernet Service Locations, can now actively monitor the key attributes of each Operator Virtual Connection (OVC) when that connection is made via a CENX exchange. Monitoring is from the CENX Exchange to off-net Ethernet Service Locations – now without needing costly customer premises equipment.
Market Drivers for CENX and Carrier Ethernet
Prior to the launch of CENX, Carrier Ethernet grew mostly within each service provider’s footprint. Nan Chen had the vision to see the requirement and fulfill the requirements for Ethernet services. While the need for Carrier Ethernet interconnection has risen rapidly, options have been limited to complicated one-to-one interconnections and constrained by the extraordinary time and cost of such implementation. By enabling seamless, one-to-many Carrier Ethernet service-level interconnections, CENX makes expanded Carrier Ethernet interconnection efficient and economical for its members.