AT&T's completion of its 100 Gbps backbone trial is another indicator that large service providers are realizing they need more horsepower to sate the seemingly endless appetite for wired and wireless applications.
A key part of the trial was to test Cisco's newly minted CRS-3 Carrier Routing System to demonstrate single-flow 100-Gigabit Ethernet backbone link operating at the IP layer. In addition, AT&T leveraged Opnext 100 Gbps CFP client side modules and Ixia's K2 traffic generator/analyzer to test a single-carrier 100 Gigabit transmission with real-time coherent processing on a 900-km long-haul transport link.
But while the trial is new, AT&T is not a 100 Gbps networking novice. Following the deployment of 40 Gbps network in 2008, AT&T conducted two lab trials of 100 Gbps technology.
And it appears the timing for 100 Gbps-capable optical and routing systems can't come soon enough. Keith Cambron, president and CEO of AT&T Labs, who participated in the Cisco presentation, said that the carrier is "already seeing rings where 40G is not enough."
Of course, AT&T is not the only provider with 100 Gbps transmission ambitions. Fellow RBOC Verizon Communications not only conducted another 100 Gbps field trial in its Dallas, Texas market, but also last December upgraded a European long-haul route with 100 Gbps capabilities.
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