Infonetics carrier survey reveals building momentum for 100 Gbps

Momentum is growing towards significant deployment of 100-Gbps technology, according to a survey of carriers Infonetics Research recently completed. The survey reveal significant interest in coherent 100 Gbps for both greenfield and brownfield applications.

Momentum is growing towards significant deployment of 100-Gbps technology, according to a survey of carriers Infonetics Research recently completed. The survey reveal significant interest in coherent 100 Gbps for both greenfield and brownfield applications.

The survey, results of which can be found in the newly released report 40G/100G Wavelength Deployment Strategies: Global Service Provider Survey, included input from 21 incumbent service providers, competitive operators, and mobile operators with 40G and/or 100G wavelengths already installed in their fiber-optic networks or with plans to do so by 2013. The respondents, who came from each of the major markets worldwide, represent 28% of global telecom carrier revenue and capex, Infonetics asserts.

The market research firm most recently conducted a similar survey late in 2009 (see “Infonetics: 40G vs. 100G a matter of cost”). The focus of the new survey differs from that one, according to Andrew Schmitt, directing analyst for optical at Infonetics Research and author of the survey.

"To take measure of the coming optical reboot, we significantly changed the focus of our latest 40G/100G survey from previous years, and aimed to gain insight into the trends and differences in deployment in existing brownfield networks versus new greenfield builds,” he explains. “We discovered that there is a strong carrier preference for 100G transport in both brownfield and greenfield installations. Carriers plan to use both 40G and 100G to the same degree in existing brownfield networks, and clearly favor 100G for new greenfield builds.

“100G looks unstoppable," Schmitt concludes.

According to the survey results, the three main reasons for the move to either 40 Gbps, 100 Gbps, or both include:

  1. lower cost per bit for new wavelengths
  2. superior dispersion performance from coherent optics
  3. lower incremental common equipment costs as a result of increased spectral efficiency.

The survey indicates that most carriers see 40 Gbps as a placeholder for 100 Gbps. The respondents indicated that they will move most of their applications to 100G once the technology reaches widespread availability.

Infonectics says the survey also reveals that, while some systems providers have begun to discuss non-coherent approaches to 100G for metro applications (see “ADVA Optical Networking offers cost-reduced 100-Gbps for metro networks”), such alternatives are not yet considered “important technology” among carriers.

Meanwhile, survey respondents also revealed that colorless and directionless ROADMs and OTN switching will be important components of greenfield builds. Gridless and contentionless ROADM capabilities currently hold less appeal, according to the report.

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