Windstream has picked Ciena for the build-out of its new nationwide optical network, which is slated for turn up in the third quarter of this year.
Windstream's new network, which is called the National Converged Optical Network (NCON), will hook-up Windstream's Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities with major U.S. data centers and cable landing stations.
While Windstream recently conducted an 800G trial over a long-haul network with Infinera, Ciena notched the customer win for NCON. In May, Deutsche Telekom Global Carrier laid claim to the first European 800G transmission by partnering with Ciena.
Windstream is installing Ciena’s Waveserver 5 modular platform, which is powered by its WaveLogic 5 Extreme. Ciena’s Waveserver 5 platform is managed by the vendor's Manage, Control and Plan (MCP) domain controller. Windstream will also use Ciena’s 6500 Reconfigurable Line System (RLS) to embed intelligence for faster deployments. RLS is a programmable and integrated C&L-band line system that can be used to double the optical spectrum capacity.
“Our increasingly digital world requires a differentiated network that pushes the boundaries of technology to take the connectivity experience to the next level," said Windstream's Buddy Bayer, chief network officer, in a statement. "After extensive review in our quest to innovate and meet growing customer demands, it was clear that Ciena was the best partner to support our nationwide network transformation and ability to adapt to digital disruption. With NCON, Windstream will build an ultra-high capacity, intelligent network that will interoperate with our existing multi-vendor topology.”
On the software side, Windstream first implemented Ciena’s Blue Planet in 2016 to automate the delivery of its managed wavelength services line across its multi-vendor optical network.
Earlier this year, Verizon completed a test that pushed 800 Gbps of data across a single fiber wavelength by working with Ciena and Juniper networks. Verizon's 800G trial on its live fiber network was notable because it showed equipment interoperability from two different vendors. The trial proved the capability to quadruple the typical capacity that's normally carried on a wavelength.