Light Reading
By a not-so-wide margin, respondents to our recent poll say they want 400G as the next step beyond 100G.

LR Community Loves Itself Some 400G

Dan O'Shea
3/21/2014
50%
50%

Question the near-term need for 400G, if you like, or its long-term value in a world where 1 Tbit/s seems doable. But the Light Reading community has its 400G fans, and they came out to support the technology in our recent poll on the need for 400G. (See Do We Need 400G?)

As of Friday, March 21, more than 32% of the more than 650 LR community members who took the poll sided with the opinion that 400G will be needed soon to deal with capacity issues. Yet there is still some indication that 400G's future is up for debate. Nearly 28% of respondents said 1 Tbit/s would be the better choice as the industry looks beyond its current deployed base of 100G.

Also, almost 24% said that, though 400G might be the correct next step for some networks, it will not be widely deployed. Meanwhile, if there is anything the community agrees on in this poll, it's that 100G, which has seen such wide deployment in the last year or so, is simply not enough to soothe ongoing capacity concerns.

There certainly has been a lot of activity around 400G already. Vendors, standards groups, and even some network operators have been busy since last year developing 400G products, trials, and business cases. (See Huawei Pressures Its 400G Router Rivals, OIF Plans to Define 400G, Ciena Taking 400G Link to SC13, and SaskTel Trials 400G With Alcatel-Lucent.)

Heavy Reading senior analyst Sterling Perrin recently questioned the need for "beyond 100G" technologies in the near term. He argued that many network operators completed a 10x bandwidth upgrade not long ago from 10G to 100G, and that the rate of Internet traffic growth has been slowing in recent years. (See Going Beyond 100G? Not So Fast….)

Perhaps some in the LR community are just trying to get Sterling to eat his words, but even though 400G was favored in this poll, the voting was close enough all around that we would have to agree this hot-button issue is far from being completely decided.

— Dan O'Shea, Managing Editor, Light Reading

(7)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
DOShea
50%
50%
DOShea,
User Rank: Blogger
3/23/2014 | 9:48:06 PM
Re: Standards lacking
Thanks for playing, Sterling. Yes, I kind of let the 1 Terabit poll response fly by there without much comment. We should take a closer look at that flexible line rate standard in an upcoming story.
danielcawrey
50%
50%
danielcawrey,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/23/2014 | 4:14:40 PM
Re: Standards lacking
Traffic growth may be slowing, but the rise of smartphones and ultra cheap hardware could change that. Traditional market penetration has been primarily complete, now the movement will be in global penetration in areas not serviced by regular providers. 
MarkC73
50%
50%
MarkC73,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/22/2014 | 11:20:35 PM
Re: Standards lacking
Usually comes down to when and how much.  40G had a few things going against it, didn't have the cost points and some problems with the initial technology, and 100G came fast behind it.  For 1000 vs. 400 G then it will come down to when a reliable standard can be made for transmission over SM-28 fiber, and how much more it will be in comparison to 100G, those who drive the top end transmission market are currently bandwidth hungry, so I think there won't be a problem with demand in the Tier 1 and large data transfer community.  Granted that's a smaller community than 100G, but the same thing happened when we went from 10 to 40/100.
mendyk
50%
50%
mendyk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/22/2014 | 10:12:10 AM
Re: Standards lacking
Re the building-block approach: Doesn't that imply that developers should focus on terabit as the long-term next logical step and use 100G building blocks in the interim? I wonder how the poll results would look with that as a fifth option.
sterlingperrin
50%
50%
sterlingperrin,
User Rank: Lightning
3/21/2014 | 5:20:46 PM
Re: Standards lacking
Okay Dan, you got me to bite!

This was an interesting poll Q and that's a lot of responses! Of course, there are different ways to read the data. Personally, I was surprised at the large % of responses saying to skip 400G and move to 1 Terabit - A year ago it seemed that debate was over, but now it seems like that's not so. 

There is a flexible line standard that is in the works - as Maarten as detailed on these boards - and that might make the debate irrelevant. Operators would be able to create line side pipes of whatever size they need based on building blocks of 100G. 

I also agree with the statement that without a standard in place, operators aren't going to do a whole lot. It's far less risky to wait.

Sterling
DOShea
50%
50%
DOShea,
User Rank: Blogger
3/21/2014 | 5:08:36 PM
Re: Standards lacking
True, and we are looking at the next couple of years for various standards to be sorted out. I guess, unlike in SDN, we are still living in an optical world predicated on standards.
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
3/21/2014 | 5:00:26 PM
Standards lacking
I discussed that study with some folks at the recent OFC conference, who pointed out that standards are not yet set for 400G. Service providers who deploy 400G technology now do so at the risk of getting locked in to proprietary technology. 
Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Documentaries
Paul Bunyan's Giant Gigabit Plans

12|22|14   |   03:26   |   (0) comments


Gary Johnson, the CEO and GM of Minnesota rural operator Paul Bunyan Communications, discusses the company's 5,000-square-mile gigabit network rollout.
LRTV Interviews
CenturyLink: Building the Case for NFV

12|19|14   |   02:14   |   (0) comments


At the 2020 Vision Executive Summit, James Feger, VP, Network Strategy & Development at CenturyLink, talks about how the US operator is approaching virtual network functions from an operational and business case perspective.
LRTV Interviews
Liberty Global Sees Business Goldmine

12|18|14   |     |   (0) comments


Steen Sorensen, VP of business services for Liberty Global, explains where the giant international MSO sees growth potential.
LRTV Documentaries
EE: The Road to 5G

12|16|14   |   16:02   |   (1) comment


Andy Sutton, the principal network architect at UK mobile operator EE, explains how his company is using Wembley stadium as a wireless test bed and how that's helping EE to plan the evolution to 5G.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Highlights of Huawei's NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014

12|16|14   |     |   (0) comments


Huawei hosted its inaugural NFV Open Cloud Forum during the SDN & OpenFlow World Congress 2014 in Düsseldorf, Germany. The Forum brought together technology thought leaders, senior executives and telecom professionals from global carriers, industry associations, as well as other partner companies in the ecosystem, to exchange views on and collectively explore how ...
LRTV Custom TV
Realizing Operators' Digital Vision

12|16|14   |   5:23   |   (0) comments


Leveraging technology is fundamental to digital transformation but understanding customers and serving them really well is at the heart of digital businesses. TM Forum lists the following as the strategic pillars of the digital business: business agility and rapid innovation, operational agility and effectiveness, IT and data centricity, plus customer centricity. ...
LRTV Documentaries
US Cellular Injects Analytics Into LTE

12|16|14   |   2:57   |   (1) comment


US Cellular's Mario Vela explains how the operator uses analytics for network planning and what comes next as the carrier looks to eke more value out of its metrics.
LRTV Interviews
How Cox Biz Plans to Keep Growing

12|15|14   |     |   (2) comments


Steve Rowley, SVP of Cox Business, details how the third-biggest US MSO intends to boost its revenues to $2 billion and beyond over the rest of the decade
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With Bill Zhang, Director of SoftCOM Product Management, Huawei

12|15|14   |   2:50   |   (0) comments


Bill Zhang elaborated on Huawei's open philosophy in NFV solution development and network architecture design at the SDN & OpenFlow World Congress 2014.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Event Highlights: Huawei at SDN & OpenFlow World Congress 2014

12|15|14   |   3:43   |   (0) comments


Huawei joined the 2014 SDN & OpenFlow Congress as one of the key sponsors and contributors. At the event, Huawei reinforced the openness and flexibility of its network infrastructure strategies, and provided updates on its SDN and NVF innovations. Through participations at the exhibitions, forums and speeches, Huawei encouraged the industry to "think bigger and ...
LRTV Interviews
How Cable Biz Services Hit $10B Mark

12|12|14   |     |   (1) comment


Cable operators reached $10 billion in annual business services revenues by delving deeper into their vertical markets and expanding beyond the smallest firms.
LRTV Documentaries
Mediacom Aims to Test Connected Tractors

12|11|14   |   05:07   |   (3) comments


Cable business service provider is taking its services to the 'agribusiness' sector in partnership with farm equipment specialist John Deere and is getting involved in Gigabit Cities developments.
Upcoming Live Events
February 10, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
March 17, 2015, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
April 14, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City, NY
May 6, 2015, McCormick Convention Center, Chicago, IL
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Hot Topics
T-Mobile, BlackBerry Flirt With Reuniting
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 12/17/2014
1-Gig: Coming to a Small Town Near You
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, 12/17/2014
Comcast Launches 4K Streaming Service
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 12/18/2014
US Carriers, You're Going to Cuba!
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 12/18/2014
Google Steering Android Towards Cars – Report
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 12/19/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive