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DWDM

Report: Carriers Light Up Long Haul

Long-haul WDM connectivity's alive and well on North American networks, according to a recent report from PointEast Research LLC.

The firm surveyed more than 30 carriers, including IXCs, regional carriers, and independent telcos offering long-haul services, from December 2002 through January 2003, gathering details on the levels of utilization for 1,161 Wavelength Division Multiplexing (WDM) city-to-city links or routes.

The report defines "utilization" as "the ratio of lit capacity to deployed system capacity... of a WDM system."

According to principal analyst Brian Van Steen, 41.8 percent of the total capacity within those links has been lit. Forty-two percent are showing utilization levels over 50 percent. Interestingly, though, better than 38 percent of the available capacity is less than one-quarter activated.

Carriers interviewed reported significant growth in utilization over the past year, Van Steen says, despite the rollback in capital spending. "Nothing's happened, while traffic continues to grow," he notes. In general, carriers have added line cards to existing WDM systems to keep pace with demand.

PointEast also asked carriers to name the vendors they were using on each connection. Carriers reported using equipment from Nortel Networks Corp. (NYSE/Toronto: NT) on 450 of the 1,161 connections, while Ciena Corp. (Nasdaq: CIEN) gear was deployed in 330.

Almost all Nortel lit capacity is operating at 10 Gbit/s, while Ciena-based links are generally 2.5 Gbit/s, Van Steen says. Of the Ciena-based links, 48.1 percent are in use; of the Nortel-based ones, 44.1 percent are lit.

On average, routes tallied in the survey have a capacity of 70 wavelengths, or 35 channels, of which 28 wavelengths or 14 channels have been lit.

Van Steen says the survey will be updated every six months, enabling the research firm to provide a view of capacity utilization trends in North America.

— Mary Jander, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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holden_caufield 12/5/2012 | 12:26:31 AM
re: Report: Carriers Light Up Long Haul Has anyone done a research report on:

* correlations in peer-to-peer sharing and overall bandwidth growth?
* the implications to the usage of bandwidth if p-to-p programs such as KaZaa and Morpheus are eliminate?
* the implications to telecom equipment/metro WDM rollout if p-to-p is eliminated, or severely reduced?

My questions stem from both the RIAA/studios attacks on p-to-p due to copyright infringement, and the apparent "discovery" by legislators that programs like KaZaa can easily be used to share porn (which has always driven bandwidth). (How was this not obvious from the get-go?)

Is this ever considered in "worst-case" growth models for research? Or the carriers/equipment providers dependent on copyright infringement/porn to drive bandwidth?

I've wondered why the service providers don't subsidize p-p sharing, charging both customers on their networks for p-p sharing (ie a simple monthly fee, not per download), like a tax, and then use the revenues to appease the RIAA.

Thanks

Holden
Scott Raynovich 12/5/2012 | 12:26:27 AM
re: Report: Carriers Light Up Long Haul >* correlations in peer-to-peer sharing and >overall bandwidth growth?
>* the implications to the usage of bandwidth if >p-to-p programs such as KaZaa and Morpheus are >eliminate?
>* the implications to telecom equipment/metro >WDM rollout if p-to-p is eliminated, or severely >reduced?

Funny you ask, we just had briefing here by Ellacoya ... they have some interesting data based on actual useage on cable broadband networks. Something like Top 2% of heaviest users consuming 75% of the bandwidth. And P-to-P made up 50-70% of the bandwidth consumed.
Scott Clavenna 12/5/2012 | 12:26:18 AM
re: Report: Carriers Light Up Long Haul At Network Outlook last week, Hossein Eslambochi, CTO of AT&T, said over 40% of AT&T's IP backbone traffic can be attributed to ptp, and another 20% to NNTP, and both are growing at a pace that far outstrips web, ftp and email.

This led to me to wonder about all the attention on unifying enterprise services around MPLS. It seems the elephant in the room is ptp, not migrating ATM and Frame to MPLS. If AT&T ignores the impact of ptp, they will have a huge IP network carrying traffic with little or no revenue associated with it for the foreseeable future.

Scott
steve 12/5/2012 | 12:26:18 AM
re: Report: Carriers Light Up Long Haul Nice try Scott, but we have found something to debate that is less depressing than the state of the telecom market....Dont fight the tape.
skeptic 12/5/2012 | 12:26:17 AM
re: Report: Carriers Light Up Long Haul This led to me to wonder about all the attention on unifying enterprise services around MPLS. It seems the elephant in the room is ptp, not migrating ATM and Frame to MPLS.
-----------
What they are doing is unifying core transport
around MPLS. They want to be able to offer
all sorts of services on the edge over one
network. There are compelling opex and
simplification arguments for doing it that
have more to do with the operation of their
network than services or traffic.

p2p is just a fact of life to them. A reason
for traffic growth. But there isn't much they
can do about it one way or the other.

borabora 12/5/2012 | 12:26:17 AM
re: Report: Carriers Light Up Long Haul "Long haul, long held to be quiet due to wireless has a friend in wireless. Most wireless providers are spinning free long distance as a feature of signing up for their services. So one might actually induce the other to grow."

There is a definite connections. For example, Sprint is expanding their MAN footprint to 30, and their MANs include connections to their PCS switching centers and long haul POPs.

Per their March 10th release:
The MAN high-speed rings connect the Sprint fiber-optic backbone to local exchange carrier end offices, as well as to points of presence, where long distance and ILECs typically exchange traffic. In many cases, Sprint also is connecting the MAN rings to PCS mobile switching centers, which route wireless calls to PCS customers of Sprint.

single mode figure 12/5/2012 | 12:26:17 AM
re: Report: Carriers Light Up Long Haul Long haul, long held to be quiet due to wireless has a friend in wireless. Most wireless providers are spinning free long distance as a feature of signing up for their services. So one might actually induce the other to grow.

Capacity is dynamic, and seemingly mercurial to predict. High density routes benefit great from DWDM, and the ability to increase channels in newer systems.
Scott Clavenna 12/5/2012 | 12:26:16 AM
re: Report: Carriers Light Up Long Haul Skeptic,

Good points, and ultimately the right thing to do. AT&T is betting on MPLS to reduce opex around enterprise services. What to do about ptp is anybody's guess.

Scott
skeptic 12/5/2012 | 12:26:16 AM
re: Report: Carriers Light Up Long Haul CD sales are falling for the first time ever, because anyone who really wants to can get them for free.
-------------
I dont agree.

Years ago, I remember people with suitcases full
of cassettes trading with each other. There
has always been widespread piracy of music,
especially among people in a certain age
range. I think the internet has given the
music industry a better understanding of how
much piracy goes on, but believe me people
have always been able to get music for free.
dave77777 12/5/2012 | 12:26:16 AM
re: Report: Carriers Light Up Long Haul Interesting thoughts holden, but I don't think utilities like Kazaa and Morpheus will ever be eliminated. Free copyrighted matieral is always in demand and it's just impossible to regulate every bit of data transferred over the Internet.

CD sales are falling for the first time ever, because anyone who really wants to can get them for free. The birth of the Internet probably isn't the death knell for industries based on copyrighted material, but it is already having a major impact. The higher data rates going forward (with wider utilization/evolution of broadband) will only exacerbate the problem.


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