Heavy Reading: 2011 the year for 100G

If you thought it difficult to get away from 100G last year, the technology will chase you even harder in 2011, Heavy Reading predicts. In its new report, 100Gbit/s Transport: Forecast & Analysis, the market research firm says it expects what it calls an “explosion” of 100-Gbps optical system field trials, product announcements -- and even some commercial shipments.

Mar 2nd, 2011

If you thought it difficult to get away from 100G last year, the technology will chase you even harder in 2011, Heavy Reading predicts. In its new report, 100Gbit/s Transport: Forecast & Analysis, the market research firm says it expects what it calls an “explosion” of 100-Gbps optical system field trials, product announcements -- and even some commercial shipments.

"Operators view 100G as a mass-market backbone transport technology to ultimately replace 10G, not as a niche," says Sterling Perrin, senior analyst at Heavy Reading and author of the report. "In a Heavy Reading survey, network capacity exhaust and better economics compared with 10G were identified as two of the top three drivers for 100G transport. Historically, when these drivers are met, transport technology becomes a mass-market or 'default' solution in the network."

Although he doesn’t expect much commercial activity before next year, Perrin says suppliers must begin to engage with potential customers now. "Heavy Reading surveys reveal that nearly 45 percent of network operators expect to make purchasing decisions on 100G by the end of 2011,” Perrin asserts. “Another third said the decision would be made in 2012. Now even staunch 40G proponents realize that 100G is the technology endgame, and that even 40G opportunities will be severely limited without a solid 100G roadmap in place."

Other significant findings of the report include:

  • Ciena and Alcatel-Lucent are the early 100G market leaders; both are shipping 100G transport systems for revenue. The two companies combined can boast of seven commercial customers and 24 field trials. Heavy Reading sees Huawei (which Heavy Reading says leads the 40G transport space) and Infinera as “aggressively pursuing” 100G.
  • Not surprisingly, operators expect the additional bandwidth 100G will provide will translate into significantly lower cost per bit. Heavy Reading says most operators prefer 100G expect to pay 5X 10G prices, which equates to 10X more bandwidth at twice the price.
  • Following the lead of the Optical Internetworking Forum (OIF), DP-QPSK modulation with coherent detection will be the de facto standard for long-haul 100G DWDM transport.
  • The long-haul market will dominate 100G deployments for the next five years, even though some of the earliest 100G deployments have occurred in the metro.


100Gbit/s Transport: Forecast & Analysis offers a forecast of the 40G and 100G transport market, with breakouts by port speed, revenue share, line and client side, and more. The report also describes 100G trial and commercial deployment activity by supplier and operator and includes profiles of the leading 100G transport suppliers and their customers.

The report costs $3,995 and is published in PDF format. The price includes an enterprise license covering all of the employees at the purchaser's company.

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