CenturyLink gets into the 100G game

CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL) on Wednesday became the latest service provider to announce that it has upgraded its domestic and international networks with 100G capabilities.

While other telcos like Verizon (NYSE: VZ) have been upgrading parts of their network to 100G, CenturyLink is conducting a wide-scale deployment.

Alcatel-Lucent Lambdaxtreme DWDM platform

Centurylink confirmed that Alcatel-Lucent's LambdaXtreme Transport is one of the platforms it will use to deliver 100GigE.

In the United States, the telco added 100G capabilities in over 50 U.S. metro locations. Likewise, on the international front, CenturyLink deployed 100G in both Singapore and London, with a number of other international city upgrades set to go live early next year.

Stephanie Meisse told FierceTelecom that Alcatel-Lucent's 1625 LambdaXtreme Transport is one of the platforms it is using to enable it to deliver its 100 GigE Optical Wavelength Service to enterprise and wholesale carrier customers in the United States and a number of specific international cities.

Deploying Alcatel-Lucent makes sense as Qwest in 2009 deployed Alcatel-Lucent's 100 Gbps service interfaces for its 7750 Edge Service Router series and its Ultra Long-Haul optical platform to transport the 100 Gbps services over its network.

Rumors had been circulating that Infinera (Nasdaq: INFN), which has been gaining some high profile wins for its DTN-X platform, including its most recent win with TeliaSonera International Carrier (TSIC), could another one of its 100G suppliers. Before Qwest was acquired by CenturyLink last year, Infinera was one of the telco's optical suppliers.

These rumors picked up when Infinera's CEO Tom Fallon said that it will have a customer announcement with a U.S. Tier 1 carrier at the end of the year.

Building on the telco's Optical Wavelength Service, CenturyLink has plans to introduce a number of new capabilities early next year, including connectivity to Savvis cloud, hosting and colocation services, data centers and customer business locations.

Pieter Poll, CenturyLink senior vice president of national and international network planning, engineering and construction, said in a release that it "began the transition to 100 Gbps a couple of years ago" to keep up with the ongoing demand for higher broadband speeds and new business applications such as cloud and Ethernet.

Evidence of the broadband and business service demands were on display in the telco's Q3 earnings report.

On the consumer side, CenturyLink added over 10,000 Prism IPTV subscribers and 44,000 new DSL customers, while strong MPLS and Ethernet sales helped drive up strategic revenues in its Enterprise Markets 7.2 percent to $341 million.

But consumer and business customers are only part of what is going to consume the 100G engine. The telco also completed about 1,335 fiber builds to large cell towers in its territory to satisfy the growing need for higher bandwidth wireless backhaul services to support the growth of the wireless operator's data and multimedia services.  

For more:
- see the release

Commentary: What lies beyond 100G?

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