Telstra has picked Ericsson as its supplier for next-generation optical equipment, as Ericsson announced today. Telstra has bought Ericsson’s optical gear before, but this deal is more about Ericsson reselling Ciena’s 6500 Packet-Optical Platform and OneControl Unified Management System into the Telstra network.
Ericsson and Ciena will also help bring Telstra along the road toward software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV), the press release states. What this means at first, as Ericsson told Light Reading, is that the carrier will be working on virtual home gateways and service chaining.
Ciena and Ericsson announced in February that they would combine forces to provide a unified Layer 0-3 front. Ciena is the better-known name in optical networking, but Ericsson’s business has the wider reach and scope. Ericsson also has deeper connections with carriers, considering it offers wireless networking and managed services.
What Ericsson gets out of the partnership is optical technology, something that’s difficult and expensive to develop. In addition to reselling Ciena’s gear, Ericsson will be integrating optical technology into its routers — something that competitors including Cisco have been doing for years.