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Optical/IP

ExteNet adds speed, automation to optical network

As broadband connectivity becomes more of a commodity, price and speed are emerging as two of the key metrics for buyers. This week during the Metro Connect conference, ExteNet Systems said it has the speed part of that equation covered. The company said it is upgrading its metro core network to support 200 Gbps, with a path to upgrade the network to support speeds all the way up to 400 Gbps and beyond.

ExteNet said its hardened metro core will be able to scale beyond 200 Gbps on a common network infrastructure, thanks to a partnership with LightRiver. LightRiver deploys packet-optical networks for data center interconnect, metro, and long-haul applications for network operators. It scored this partnership with ExteNet because of its network automation expertise.

"A requirement to enhance our network effectively was the availability of a network automation solution that LightRiver provided," said Jeff Robator, ExteNet VP of operations, in a press release. ExteNet builds small cells and other equipment for wireless networks.

One key part of LightRiver's network automation solution is its software for network testing. Traditional circuit tests measure end-to-end performance, but LightRiver says its software can measure network performance at each "hop" along the path, so that operators can pinpoint problems more effectively.

ExteNet will market its fast fiber solutions to network operators, municipalities and enterprise customers. The higher speeds will be key to mobile network operators as they connect 5G equipment to servers at the edge of the network to enable ultra-low-latency applications like factory automation and self-driving cars.

— Martha DeGrasse, special to Light Reading. Follow her @mardegrasse

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