March 13, 2009
Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT) is the latest Tier 1 operator to check out the potential of 100-Gbit/s transmission, having completed a successful field trial in Germany using optical gear supplied by Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC).
The trial is part of an ongoing three-year, €66 million ($85.6 million, 32-gallon) project called 100-GET (100-Gbit/s Carrier-Grade Ethernet Transport Technologies) that's being coordinated by Celtic Telecommunications Solutions.
The main goal of the project is "to develop carrier-grade transport networks based on a data transmission rate of 100 billion bits per second over Ethernet at high quality." More than 30 companies and organizations are involved in 100-GET, including ADVA Optical Networking , Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU), Deutsche Telekom, Ericsson, and Nokia Networks . (See The Road to 100GigE.)
And there's no doubt that the world's leading carriers want to find the quickest and most cost-effective way to enable 100-Gbit/s capabilities in their networks. (See Verizon's Wellbrock: 100G Is Needed, The Road to 100G Winds Up Carriers, and Optical's Great Leap Forward.)
The Deutsche Telekom trial, which took place in December, achieved greater than 100-Gbit/s transmission using its existing fiber and already commercially deployed technology, in this case the Marconi MHL 3000 WDM platform. (In case anyone has forgotten, and you should have, Ericsson snapped up Marconi more than three years ago -- see Ericsson Buys Bulk of Marconi.)
DT deployed the Marconi gear in July 2008 for 40-Gbit/s transmission. Now Ericsson says it's meeting initial customer demand for greater optical capacity and "advancing its 100G roadmap... by upgrading deployed Marconi MHL 3000 systems."
The trial involved "an existing link with mixed 10G and 40G traffic with a 50 GHz channel spacing was used." The result? "A line rate of 112 Gbit/s was achieved using polarization multiplexed RZ-DQPSK [Return-to-Zero Differential Quadrature Phase-Shift Keying] and a fast polarization tracker over 600-kilometer standard SMF [singlemode fiber]. The link included multiple ROADMs and unequally distributed amplifiers. With links optimized for distance, more than 1,200-kilometer optical path length is possible," stated Ericsson. (See Next-Gen ROADMs and 40- & 100-Gbit/s Technology & Components for an in-depth look at some of these technologies.)
The vendor, which has been pushing its optical credentials much harder recently following the launch of its packet-optical transport system (P-OTS) platform last November, notes that further field trials are planned with DT during 2009, and that it will "further cooperate closely with customers to determine the best modulation formats to ensure that the products fit future requirements." (See Ericsson Makes Packet-Optical Play.)
Other existing Marconi MHL 3000 customers include Cable and Wireless plc (NYSE: CWP), Taiwan's Chunghwa Telecom Co. Ltd. (NYSE: CHT), Telecom Egypt , Telecom Italia (TIM) , Telefónica SA (NYSE: TEF), Telstra Corp. Ltd. (ASX: TLS; NZK: TLS), and Italy's Wind Telecomunicazioni SpA , according to Ericsson.
DT joins the likes of AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ), Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), XO Communications Inc. , and a number of research and educational establishments in checking out 100 Gbit/s capabilities. (See Internet2, ESnet Want Their 100-Gig, Verizon Adds Nortel to Its 100G Club, Verizon Goes Long(er) With 100-Gig, 100-Gig Demo, Verizon Keeps 100-Gig Promise, Comcast Thinks Big, NEC, AT&T Demo 100G, and Comcast, Nortel Put 100G to the Test .)
And, of course, Ericsson is far from alone in chasing 100-Gbit/s glory -- Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU), Ciena Corp. (NYSE: CIEN), Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. , Infinera Corp. (Nasdaq: INFN), NEC Corp. (Tokyo: 6701), Nokia Networks , and Nortel Networks Ltd. are all focused on taking transport networks to the next level. (See Nortel Shows Single-Slice 100GE, Ciena Pushes 100-Gig, AlcaLu Gets Tropical in the Metro, VZ, Nokia Siemens Tout 100-Gig Trial, Huawei Touts 100G WDM, and Infinera Demos 100GigE.)
And 100 Gbit/s –- and especially the developments underway in the test and measurement community –- are expected to figure prominently at the upcoming OFC/NFOEC event in San Diego later this month. (See OFC Goes to 100, Nortel Taps Ixia for 100GE, and EXFO Acquires PicoSolve.)
— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading
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