Metro Ethernet

Metro Ethernet, also known as “Carrier Ethernet”, is an architecture which covers a series of technologies divided into layers. This architecture is set to expand the realm of application of LAN Ethernet (IEEE 802.3) and achieve an applicable scheme on a large scale (Carrier).

Many organizations have worked in solving the problems presented in the LAN Ethernet scheme when it expands. Among them, “Metro Ethernet Forum” (MEF) stands out. MEF has developed the Carrier Ethernet standard by means of a series of technical specifications, in which the characteristics of the model and the principal differences with LAN Ethernet were defined. These specifications define the technical basis for the implementation of Carrier Ethernet in the networks. MEF intends to define standardized Ethernet services, carrier class, with 5 principal attributes, which differentiates it from LAN-based Ethernet.

The characteristics of Metro Ethernet are:

Standardized services

  • E-Line, E-Lan, y E-Tree circuits
  • Implementation with no impact on the clients
  • Convergence of multiple services
  • Standard QoS


  • Millions of clients
  • Great variety of physical infrastructure


  • Quick re-convergence

Quality of Service

  • Granularity
  • Allow the application of “Service Level Agreements” for end-to-end performance


  • Monitoring, diagnosis and administration using standard mechanisms

These standards allow the services' providers to offer connectivity services to many clients through Ethernet Virtual Connections (EVC), which are associated to reference points called User-Network Interface (UNI), which, in turn, support several transmission media. This way, high capillarity, reliability and flexibility in the providers’ networks are obtained. In addition, a well-known technology is re-used.

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