Ciena and Comcast chalk up a 600G milestone across 1,600-kilometer connection

Comcast teams up with Ciena to deploy 600 Gbps on a single long-distance wavelength between Newark and Pittsburgh. (Pixabay)

Ciena and Comcast teamed up for a long-distance 600 Gbps single wavelength pilot deployment across 1,600 kilometers. Comcast used Ciena's WaveLogic 5 Extreme (WL5e) and flexible grid technology, completing what Ciena said was the world’s first long-distance 600 Gbps single wavelength pilot deployment.

The pilot deployment carried live commercial traffic across more than 800 kilometers between core peering locations in Newark, New Jersey, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

In order to test the full capabilities, Comcast also looped back the signal and verified successful operation of 600 Gbps across 1,600-kilometers. Comcast labs and network engineering teams were able to achieve a two-times increase in wavelength capacity across the mixed link by using Ciena's WL5e coherent optics technology.

Introduced last year, WL5e can provide bandwidth from 200G to 800G while also dynamically adapting to end-user demands by providing more capacity on each wavelength.

The deployment of WL5e on the link between Newark and Pittsburgh was the first in Ciena's Waveserver 5 form factor. Ciena said that Waveserver 5 uses its WaveLogic 5 coherent optic technology to scale up to 12.8 Tbps in a two-rack footprint, allowing Comcast to maximize fiber capacity and reduce the amount of hardware required to support high-bandwidth service growth.

In addition to capacity upgrades, WL5e will help facilitate the move to 400G-interface routers and universal 400 GbE transport across any location in the Comcast National Backbone network without regeneration.

Service providers are constantly upgrading their bandwidth capacity due to the increase in 4K video streaming, augmented and virtual reality applications, and IoT, as well as more cloud and edge-based computing services.

"As the largest fixed-broadband provider in the U.S., we know the way people consume media and data, in general, is changing and we’re committed to continue and support the increased customer demand with increased capacity across our network," said Comcast's Noam Raffaelli, senior vice president, network and communications for engineering, in a statement. "This recent achievement allows us to benefit from Ciena's continued innovation in its coherent optical technology, optimizing both our network architecture as well as our overall cost per bit.” 

RELATED: Verizon pushes 800 Gbps of data across single wavelength of fiber

On Friday, Verizon announced it had recently completed a test that pushed 800 Gbps of data across a single fiber wavelength by working with Ciena and Juniper Networks. Verizon will start deploying its new optical configuration with Ciena and Juniper on its fiber network in the second half of this year.

Comcast declined to say what hardware vendors it used for its 600G deployment, or when its 600G services would go live in production.

Ciena will report its fiscal first quarter results on Thursday.