Verizon completes 400G field trial with Ciena, Juniper

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Verizon successfully completed a 400G field trial with Juniper and Cisco. (Mike Seyfang/Flickr)

Verizon has wrapped up its latest 400G field trial delivering Ethernet traffic on one wavelength between MPLS core routers over its packet optical network, illustrating the possibility of how these new technologies can be used across its network.

During the trial, which was held in the Dallas area in December, Verizon was able to achieve two goals: interoperability between Juniper’s routers and Ciena’s packet optical platforms, and quadrupling the typical capacity carried on a single optical wavelength.

From an industry perspective, the field trial will illustrate how 400G transmission and router technology can be used to apply in networks to satisfy bandwidth demands being driven by video streaming, virtual reality and cloud computing. 

RELATED: Ciena, Cisco take lead in 100G, 400G coherent WDM market, says analyst

Lee Hicks, vice president of network planning for Verizon, said in a release that “The appetite from consumers and businesses alike continues to grow. This 400G trial demonstrates our relentless focus on building networks people want and need."

This test traffic was transmitted between two Juniper Networks PTX5000 routers across the Ciena 6500 Packet-Optical Platform, both used in Verizon’s production network. 

Verizon’s 400 Gbps interworking connection is compliant with IEEE Standard 802.3bs-2017, which was ratified in December 2017.  

The service provider is hardly alone in proving out the viability of 400G routing and optical networking.

Fellow telco AT&T completed a test of a single-wavelength 400 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) data speed over its production network. Like Verizon’s trial, AT&T’s test also coincided with the IEEE standards-based 400 GbE end-to-end standard. The test essentially represented the first phase of a three-part 400-GbE trial that AT&T initially outlined last year.

Cignal Al, an analyst firm focused on the optical market, forecast that 100G and 400G coherent will be widely adopted at the edge of the network by the end of 2021.

In its Optical Applications Report, Cignal Al estimated that 400G technology will account for nearly one-quarter of all deployed WDM bandwidth in 2020. The report also forecasts that revenue for equipment originally designed for the data center interconnect market will reach $1 billion by 2019, as these systems become widely adopted outside of traditional DCI applications.