Huawei's 100G Is Out the Door

Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. has confirmed it has shipped single-carrier 100Gbit/s coherent optical transmission technology to a commercial customer.

That customer is KPN Telecom NV (NYSE: KPN), which Huawei announced during last week's CommunicAsia show. A Huawei spokeswoman confirmed the single-carrier part in an email to Light Reading. (See Huawei Deploys 100G for KPN.)

"Single-carrier" refers to putting all 100Gbit/s on one wavelength. Some systems, including the 100Gbit/s developed by Nortel Networks Ltd. and being shipped by Ciena Corp. (NYSE: CIEN), split the traffic onto two wavelengths that carry 50 Gbit/s apiece and squeeze into one ITU grid assignment. That means they're treated as one "wavelength" in a DWDM network, but the process does require two lasers.

The only other vendor to have announced a single-carrier 100Gbit/s product is Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU), which launched a year ago. At the time, Heavy Reading analyst Sterling Perrin noted that carriers are indeed waiting for a single-carrier option -- so, you could argue the distinction really does matter. (See Analyst: AlcaLu's 100G Game-Changer.)

Huawei joins AlcaLu, Ciena and MRV Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: MRVC) in shipping 100Gbit/s systems conforming to the Optical Internetworking Forum (OIF) framework, the accepted convention based on a modulation scheme of dual polarization, quadrature phase-shift keying (DP-QPSK). (See 100G Watch: Another DWDM Contender.)

Pretty much everybody in optical networking is expected to have OIF-compliant 100Gbit/s systems announced, if not deployed, by mid-2012.

But wait, there's more. Huawei tells Light Reading it's also delivered a less expensive dual-carrier 100Gbit/s technology to China Telecom Corp. Ltd. (NYSE: CHA), another deployment announced last week. (See China Telecom Deploys Huawei's 100G.)

That technology, shipping since late 2010, doesn't use coherent detection, but is based on a modulation scheme called symmetric DQPSK, analyst Sterling Perrin wrote in a March report titled "100Gbit/s Transport: Forecast Analysis."

Coherent detection requires high-end electronics, and at 100 Gbit/s, the earliest vendors have had to develop those chips on their own. So, by leaving coherent detection out of sDQPSK, Huawei could get the technology out more quickly and keep the cost down. Perrin's report notes that sDQPSK uses pieces that were already available from Huawei's 40Gbit/s suppliers.

(For more coverage of CommunicAsia, see the Light Reading CommunicAsia site.) — Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

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Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 5:00:43 PM
re: Huawei's 100G Is Out the Door

Huawei hit CommunicAsia with guns blazing, or at least that's how it looks from here. They had these two announcements in their pocket, and the 20Tbit/s OTN prototype.

Separately, they've also got optical burst switching (Intune/Matisse stuff) that was shown at OFC/NFOEC.  And in 100G, they told us about a year ago that they'd have single-carrier shipping this year.

Sterling Perrin remarked in an email to me that he likes the amount of optical innovation coming out of Huawei. They've certainly been busy.

digits 12/5/2012 | 5:00:42 PM
re: Huawei's 100G Is Out the Door

Just when you thought Huawei and ZTE were already going at full throttle, they find another gear...

The question is -- do the systems have the smarts to go with the horsepower?

viper99 12/5/2012 | 5:00:41 PM
re: Huawei's 100G Is Out the Door


In the "China Telecom Deploys Huawei's 100G" press release, it is stated that this is the "world’s first end-to-end 100G WDM (wavelength division multiplexing) system". 

What is first about this?  Haven't others annouced 100G WDM end to end (like Verizon or even Huawei's other PR about KPN)? 


viper99 12/5/2012 | 5:00:40 PM
re: Huawei's 100G Is Out the Door


I would not have made the same assumption as you about wide deployment.  I don't think I've seen any previous annoucements or news to suggest CTC is planning to deploy 100G in volume near term.  In fact, there was news last Dec 2010 that CTC trialed some long haul 100G links (3000km) with Huawei.  Also, a fairly influcential guy at CTC in 2010 (if you google "China telecom 100G optinet 2010") stated their 100G time table to be field trials in 2013 and start volume deployment in 2014. 

Also, we know CTC has been aggressively deploying 40G in their core network the last two years --- so seems strange to be changing course to 100G now. 

viper99 12/5/2012 | 5:00:40 PM
re: Huawei's 100G Is Out the Door

opticaljunkie, i had the same thought - I too googled it and had the same question.  Its clearly an intra-provincial 100G link and not meant to be long haul inter-provincial.  For 200km, why bother even deploying coherent? 

Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 5:00:40 PM
re: Huawei's 100G Is Out the Door

You know... I don't know. It probably depends on what's meant by "end-to-end."  I mean, by definition, *any* 100G link is "end-to-end," going from one end to the other, right?   :)

What they *might* mean (and I have not verified this with Huawei so don't take it to the bank) is the first widespread 100G deployment.  Verizon has done only selected links IIRC, and the KPN job was exactly one link, between London and Amsterdam.  Just a guess, though; would love to hear other interpretations.

opticaljunkie 12/5/2012 | 5:00:40 PM
re: Huawei's 100G Is Out the Door

Also, if you google between the two cities, it's only about 200km. Isn't coherent 100G aimed at long haul and ultra long haul market? 200km is really not much to brag about sorry. 

Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 5:00:39 PM
re: Huawei's 100G Is Out the Door

OK, fair enough.

My point was that words like "first" and "leading," in press releases, don't mean as much as they do in regular life. I don't tend to take them very seriously.

houxuanhu 12/5/2012 | 5:00:39 PM
re: Huawei's 100G Is Out the Door

In China some new technologies early commercial deplyment is only the try run. NOt necessarily related to real traffic demand.

Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 5:00:37 PM
re: Huawei's 100G Is Out the Door

Correction: In my emails back and forth with Huawei, the KPN and China Telecom deployments got reversed.  We've corrected the story after re-conferring with Huawei -- KPN is the one with the single-carrier coherent technology; China Telecom is using the less expensive (and non-coherent) dual-carrier. Sorry for the mix-up.

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