Windstream, Colt execute 400 GBE managed spectrum trial

Windstream Business
Colt said the Windstream trial opens the door to what it might do with 100G in the U.S.

Windstream Wholesale and Colt Technology Services recently conducted an optical spectrum solution trial in which Colt used the Windstream Flex grid open line system between Chicago and Ashburn, Va., to create a 600G wavelength on its own coherent transmission system. 

Colt then used the managed spectrum from Windstream to deliver multiple 100 Gigabit Ethernet and 400 Gigabit Ethernet services over the roughly 1,800-km route between those two cities, according to a Windstream press release.

The trial, which leveraged technologies in Windstream’s Intelligent Converged Optical Network (ICON) architecture, allowed the wholesale operator to show the advantages of its disaggregated network architecture, multi-vendor open line system scalability, and alien wave support. Windstream also was able to show off its ICON-based Layer Zero Analytics, self-diagnostic transmission network performance metrics, through its wholesale customer portal. These metrics can help customers plan their own coherent wavelength deployments, self-diagnose service performance and assess the health of the network at all hours, as if they were the owner/operator of the open optical line system.

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“This first foray into managed spectrum by Windstream Wholesale demonstrates the flexibility of our ICON network and the technology’s exciting potential for domestic terrestrial networks,” said Buddy Bayer, chief network officer for Windstream, said in the company’s press release. “It’s another step in Windstream’s ongoing and carefully planned network architectural strategy that leverages the benefits of fundamental design principles of disaggregation, openness, flexibility and network intelligence. As always, the ultimate goal is to meet our customers’ expanding need for high-capacity bandwidth in the most efficient manner for years to come.”

News of the trial comes just one day after Windstream announced it had expanded its 18-state fiber footprint to reach 60,000 new locations.

While Colt has used its Colt IQ Network in Europe to enable optical spectrum solutions for its customers there, Vivek Gaur, Vice President - Network Engineering for Colt, said the integration with Windstream Wholesale “opens the possibility of building out a 100G capable U.S. backbone network. We are also excited for what this trial means for our future collaboration with Windstream, as Colt actively pursues innovation and investment in technology trials to drive potential partnerships – so, we look forward to working together more.”