UPDATED: Verizon takes 100G optical into its metro networks

Verizon (NYSE: VZ) has set a foundation to add 100G optical capabilities into its global metro networks and is adding Ciena's (Nasdaq: CIEN) control-plane technology to simplify network management and reduce optical circuit provisioning time.

Already using 100G on a number of its major international and domestic U.S. long-haul network routes, the telco said that these two moves will enable it "to provide greater scalability and functionality while supporting higher access speeds."

For these two initiatives, Verizon has deployed Ciena's 5430 Reconfigurable Switching System, a packet optical transport system (P-OTS), a device that includes OTN (Optical Transport Network) aggregation and switching to deliver higher speed wavelength services to enterprise customers.

"What we're going to do now is continue to deploy 100G into the metro sometime next year so that means this is not just for the backbone only, but also to expand it to the for local distribution for all the traffic we need for businesses and consumers," said Ihab Tarazi, vice president of global IP and transport planning and technology for Verizon in an interview with FierceTelecom. "The second piece is we're also expanding our global mesh strategy into the U.S. now with Ciena's next generation product the 5430 so we can build a logical, global optical network that has all of the benefits of control plane on a global basis."

With the new control-plane initiative, Verizon will gain two new advantages: It will enable end-to-end optical transport and complement its global mesh architecture capabilities, which are designed to ensure constant uptime by creating paths to reroute traffic in the event of multiple breaks or network disruptions.

In the event of a natural or manmade disaster, the mesh technology enables the telco to automatically reroute customer traffic to another available path without human intervention.

Set to be deployed in major global metro markets in the first half of 2013, Verizon said the extension of the 100G technology will provide broader network access coverage for large multi-site enterprise and government customers.

What's driving the need to bring 100G into the metro is quite simply the advent of new bandwidth hungry applications, including cloud, 4G LTE, and its recently launched low-latency financial service that's carried on its 100G route between Chicago and New York City.

Tarazi said that while the financial industry has shown the greatest interest in low latency network services, reducing latency has benefits for every customer segment it serves.

"Financial companies have the biggest business case for low latency, but just about every company benefits from improved latency," he said. "I think latency improvement is something everybody desires, but not everyone is willing to pay for as a premium service."

Being one of the front runner service providers in the 100G optical networking race, this latest deployment is another proof point that other operators can cite as they move forward with their own respective 100G metro and long-haul deployments.    

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