Light Reading

AlcaLu Claims 400G Is Hot

Craig Matsumoto
News Analysis
Craig Matsumoto

Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) claims to have 20 customers interested in deploying 400Gbit/s optical interfaces, a level of demand that's a lot stronger than AlcaLu or any other vendor was expecting.

"They're not just going to take our 400Gbit/s when it's available the back end of this year and put it through some lab trial or some demo -- they want to deploy it," said Sam Bucci, AlcaLu's president of terrestrial optics, at the annual Technology Symposium AlcaLu put on for analysts and media.

Two customers are even signing memorandums of understanding with AlcaLu to make sure they're the first in their regions to deploy 400Gbit/s, Bucci said. They want to make sure they have bragging rights.

AlcaLu, Ciena Corp. (NYSE: CIEN) and Huawei all announced 400Gbit/s optical transport at OFC/NFOEC in March, with AlcaLu and Ciena saying it would appear in products this year. But most officials who spoke with Light Reading at the time expected service providers to wait until at least 2013 to deploy the technology. AlcaLu officials at the Symposium said they hadn't expected 20 customers this soon.

Ciena isn't talking about specific customer numbers, but the company did say in March that it expected at least one customer to run 400Gbit/s live by year's end.

"We have a number of customers excited to test higher-speed coherent technology and eager to deploy 400Gbit/s wavelengths -- and our large, global customers like BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) have already announced their intent to do so. A key reason for this is that the economics associated with higher modulations (like 16 QAM) that allow multiple 100Gbit/s Ethernets, at the economics of a single 100Gbit/s, in their metro/regional networks are proving attractive," a spokeswoman said in an emailed statement.

AlcaLu, Ciena and Huawei appear to be taking the same approach to 400Gbit/s: using two 200Gbit/s carriers to put a 400Gbit/s signal into a 100GHz space on the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) grid.

Here's our 400Gbit/s coverage from OFC/NOFEC:

— Craig Matsumoto, Managing Editor, Light Reading

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User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:31:57 PM
re: AlcaLu Claims 400G Is Hot

The article states: "Two customers are even signing memorandums of understanding with AlcaLu to make sure they're the first in their regions to deploy 400Gbit/s, Bucci said. They want to make sure they have bragging rights"

I presume part of the terms of such an MOU is some cash or promise of revenue flowing ALU's way.  What I would like to understand is what motivates carriers to sign up for this?  End consumers don't look at whether ATT or VZ was the first to deploy a data rate.  Does it provide some advantage in peering agreements?  Or does it confer some other advantage?  I know this practice happens, so I'm not questioning the veracity; I just don't understand the motivation.


More curious rather than furious today

User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:31:56 PM
re: AlcaLu Claims 400G Is Hot

Hmmm Craig, did AL call you Betty? :-)


User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:31:56 PM
re: AlcaLu Claims 400G Is Hot

I don't follow the line that Huawei, ALU and Ciena are following the same methodology.  Is the 400G support actually four (4) 100G streams over a 400G common carrier?

I would be much more interested in a concatenated 400G interface - Thurston LOVE's the law of large numbers...

Pete Baldwin
Pete Baldwin,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:31:56 PM
re: AlcaLu Claims 400G Is Hot

But we *do* shorten Hewlett-Packard's name, as does every other publication on the planet.

AlcaLu has a long name, in case you haven't noticed.  Longer than Ciena. Longer than Cisco. We shorten it in headlines and on second reference in a story. 

It's always baffled me that anyone finds that disrespectful. If we were to have gone for calling them "AL" -- now *that* would be "cutesy." Imagine the fun we'd have had with that.

User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:31:56 PM
re: AlcaLu Claims 400G Is Hot

May be a minor point but why does Light Reading insist on using "AlcaLu" instead of the company's full name "Alcatel-Lucent" in the headlines and body of every article I have ever read.  Trying to be "cutsie"?  Is it an attempt to minimize the company?  Every time you do that, it makes many view your publication as no more than an entertainment industry rag.  You don't do that to Cisco, Ciena, Hewlett-Packard or any of the rest.  Show some respect.  Just because the company leadership decided to adopt the business model of a failed company (Lucent) and has gone downhill ever since, it doesn't mean the rest of the workforce isn't trying to make it work.

Pete Baldwin
Pete Baldwin,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:31:47 PM
re: AlcaLu Claims 400G Is Hot

Well, he certainly could. He's my long-lost pal.

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