Verizon tries 100 Gbps on its Metro Ethernet network

After deploying 100 Gbps optical technology on its optical core transmission networks in Europe, Verizon (NYSE:VZ) now wants to see how 100 GigE could fit into its Metro Ethernet network.

Verizon did not have to look far to conduct this field trial. Instead of installing new gear, the carrier simply leveraged the Alcatel-Lucent's 7450 ESS--the same gear it already uses in its Switched Ethernet Services (SES) network.

During the trial, the service provider simply installed new plug in cards to carry 100 GigE traffic over 12.7 km of field fiber in its Dallas area. SES currently supports both Ethernet LAN (E-LAN) and Ethernet Virtual Private Line (EVPL) metro services for enterprise and wholesale carrier customers.

What's driving Verizon to look at 100 Gbps Ethernet is twofold: increasing demands from its enterprise customers for higher speed SES services and, increasingly, Ethernet and fiber-based wireless backhaul.  

"There is a lot of organic Ethernet growth, but one area that's stepped up growth of the network and demand on our core is our agreement with various carriers for wireless backhaul within the legacy Verizon footprint," said Nick DelRegno, Principal Member of Technical Staff. "You always have to wonder is this a short-term anomaly or is it a long-term strategy? As we see the move towards smart phones, we expect data and wireless backhaul bandwidth to increase."

Although the Alcatel-Lucent 100 GE service interfaces aren't generally available yet, DelRengo says it will deploy them in the network where it makes sense, adding that the deployment of 100 or 40 Gbps will come down to price and bandwidth needs.

"In some of our LATAs where we run SES, we're already seeing trunk capacities that are approaching 3 or 4 X 10 Gbps aggregate trunk capacities so there 40 Gbps would not help us there," he said. "In other LATAs where we don't need to make that order magnitude leap in bandwidth, 40 Gbps may be fine. I think it will also come down to if we can get 100 Gbps for less than 2 ½ x of 40 Gbps we'll look in that direction."

For more:
- see the release here

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