8 March 2011 3:20:22 PM
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By Terry Unter
The explosive growth of the Internet is driving a “need for speed” in core and access networks. User traffic is expected to increase five times between 2009 and 2014. This is being driven by video content delivery to fixed and mobile users, video gaming, social networking, and voice over IP. Bandwidth is being provided by traditional telecom service providers and new-comers, such as Google and Facebook, who are creating their own captive networks.
This increased demand for bandwidth places significant challenges on network service providers to deliver new services quickly, reliably and cost-effectively. Getting more bandwidth from the existing fiber infrastructure through improved spectral efficiency is driving the deployment of DWDM (dense wavelength division multiplexing) solutions with more channels per fiber, with higher bit-rates on each channel and with wavelengths that are closer together. Networks are transitioning rapidly from 10 Gbps (Gigabits per second) channels and now 40 Gbps has become mainstream in the market. Today’s 40 Gbps solutions pack enough power to ensure a long lifespan in the network – and the newest technologies, based on coherent detection, also provide stepping stones to 100 Gbps networks in the future. Some of more established optical companies, such as Oclaro, are introducing the building blocks required for 40 Gbps coherent solutions as well as for the transition to 100 Gbps deployments that will most probably be based entirely on coherent detection.
So when will the transition to100 Gbps networks happen? I think service providers are always angling for better spectral efficiency and lower cost per bit transported; the reality is that 40 Gbps solutions are satisfying today’s demands more cost effectively. Early deployments of 100 Gbps are already occurring and are getting high visibility but lower costs, lower power consumption and smaller equipment footprints are all needed to spur mass deployment. For Oclaro, which is the volume shipment leader in 40G DPSK line side 300-pin transponders, this is an exciting time and we look forward to contributing as a leader in the evolution of the core optical network to “more speed” through higher spectral efficiencies and bit-rates.
President and General Manager of Optical Network Solutions