Industry celebrates Ethernet’s 40th anniversary

22 May 2013 | Kavit Majithia


The telecoms industry is today celebrating the 40th anniversary of Ethernet and operators across the world have noted the rising importance of the standard for future 4G and 5G communications.

Launched in 1973, the technology has evolved over the years to support a global network of computers where data is stored, making it easily accessible in the cloud.

Henry Bohannon, senior director and head of Ethernet product management at Tata Communications has heralded the technology as changing the landscape of telecommunications forever. “Ethernet was as simple as a cable connecting a group of computers to a printer,” he said. “It slowly evolved, connecting a small network of computers before becoming what it is. Today, Ethernet is connecting the far corners of the world, bringing us all closer than ever before.”

Matthew Finnie, CTO at Interoute highlighted caution, as well as optimism for ground-breaking new technology similar to Ethernet and the need for the industry to address the challenges Ethernet faced.

The 40th birthday of Ethernet highlights a lesson that we should all heed as we busily advocate new standards for networking - be it the likes of Software Defined Networking (SDN) or the work of paid for consortia like the MEF."

Bohannon said Ethernet has a big role to play in next-generation communications, and believes the use of the standard in mobile backhaul from cell towers to the central network will aid the development of streaming video and video calling.

“Over the next forty years, Ethernet will make us even more connected than we are today, continuing to drive the growth of the digital economy in both developed and emerging markets,” he added.