News Release

Cisco Enhances Metro Ethernet Switching Portfolio to Help Providers Deploy Secure Video, Voice and Data Services Over Next-generation Broadband

Helps providers deliver a new broadband model with more secure and scalable Ethernet-based solutions for mixed consumer and business environments
Oct 31, 2002

Broadband DSL World Forum, Berlin, October 30, 2002 - Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) today announced enhancements across its Metro Ethernet Switching portfolio to help service providers, utilities and municipalities create profitable next-generation broadband models serving 10/100Mbps residential connectivity over Ethernet and fiber, and granular Gigabit Ethernet connectivity for business customers. Based around Metro Ethernet switching, the model provides a flexible Ethernet-based approach to expand customer bandwidth options with a platform that delivers high-quality video, voice over IP and data services today.

Cisco is introducing a package of enhancements to the Cisco Metro Ethernet Switching portfolio, including introducing the Catalyst. 4500 Series of switches which allow customers to deploy converged networks in the Metro environment with higher levels of performance, resilience, security and management; cost-effective Layer 3 Metro services on the Catalyst. 3550 switch; Cisco IOS enhancements for IP video security and scalability; service inter-working capabilities to concurrently aggregate both ATM and Ethernet services for the Cisco 7600 Series router and Catalyst 6500. Series switch.

"We selected Cisco to help us establish a new baseline for broadband connectivity for Vienna," commented Reinhard Brehmer, CTO of Wienstrom, the municipal-owned utility in Vienna, Austria. "We're bringing the kind of Ethernet connectivity usually only experienced when sitting in the office to residential customers across the Austrian capital using a combination of a fiber network deployed using our power distribution infrastructure and Cisco's Metro Ethernet switching products."

"The combination of Ethernet, optical fiber and IP provides Sonera with a solid foundation for future service offerings such as voice over IP and video on demand down the line," said Mr. Jari Hakalin, Director, for Sonera. "We were particularly impressed by the level of support we received from Cisco's Metro Ethernet team and the advanced features in Cisco's switching products."

Cisco Metro Ethernet Switching solutions help provide flexible next-generation connectivity based on the most widely understood networking protocol - Ethernet - together with a consistent Quality of Service (QoS) and security foundation to deploy advanced services such as video on demand, broadcast TV, video conferencing, voice over IP, virtual private networking, and storage. The new enhancements will help providers to continue to expand their service portfolio beyond basic connectivity.

"As we expand our broadband Ethernet connectivity model to offer video-based services to consumers in mid-Italy, having features such as consistent QoS and IP multicast available in IOS across the range of Cisco switching and routing products is a key advantage," commented Ian Limbach, technical programme officer for Acantho, a utility-backed Ethernet provider in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy. "Features such as video security in Cisco's switching products also help us to ensure that our live-match sports offerings are being viewed only by the paying customer."

The Metro Ethernet Switching portfolio enhancements announced today include:

  • The Catalyst. 4500 Series of switches for the Metro environment with improved redundancy and resiliency of switching architectures. Combining 1+1 redundancy of supervisor cards and power supplies with redundant switching fabric helps provide a highly-available platform for the Metro aggregation and high-density access layer. When deploying switches outside the central office in the Point of Presence aggregation layer, redundancy and resiliency are key considerations.
  • A new set of IP multicast features have been developed that extend past basic functionality in order to cope with serving video and voice to the large number of subscribers encountered in the metro. Enhancements include improved video security in IOS via IGMP filtering for increased privacy of IP multicast and unicast video streams and Multicast VLAN registration to connect individual subscribers securely with broadcast VLAN video streams.
  • Cost-effective, Layer 3 MPLS VPN service capability on the Catalyst. 3550 Series of switches helps Metro providers to deliver inter-site connectivity for businesses without the need to run individual fibers to each customer. New high performance IP routing enhancements such as BGP and Multi VRF-CE make it possible to serve multiple VPN customers securely on a single switch in building basements.
  • New Ethernet to ATM Layer 2 service inter-working capabilities for the Cisco 7600 Series router will provide the means to aggregate traditional WAN connectivity services while offering new Ethernet connectivity in the same platform. These features are also supported on the Catalyst 6500 Series of switches.

For more information on the Cisco Metro Ethernet Switching, please visit

"The Cisco Metro Ethernet Switching portfolio, together with common IOS software across individual platforms, offers a consistent framework to help deliver reliable and scalable video, voice and data services across the Metro," said Mark de Simone, VP of technology and solutions marketing, EMEA for Cisco. "As we build on the Metro functionality across the portfolio and in our software, our customers have continual access to ongoing Metro innovation."

Cisco Metro Ethernet Switching is one key component of Cisco Metro Solutions, which delivers the most comprehensive multi-layer service portfolio for providers to rapidly and effectively deploy Ethernet services to businesses and residential customers. This portfolio, which includes Metro Ethernet Switching, Carrier IP/MPLS, and Metro Optical Transport solutions and technologies, ensures a flexible and efficient network infrastructure for robust and profitable metro services. For more information on Cisco Metro Solutions, please visit