Infonetics: Optical reboot sees swift shift to 100G

Market research firm Infonetics Research has released a whitepaper describing what it calls an “optical reboot” that should begin in 2013. In “The Fast Approaching 100G Era,” Directing Analyst, Optical Andrew Schmitt argues that the benefits of coherent-enabled 100-Gbps technology will lead carriers to adopt 100G more quickly than traditional economic benchmarks would indicate.

Market research firm Infonetics Research has released a whitepaper describing what it calls an “optical reboot” that should begin in 2013. In “The Fast Approaching 100G Era,” Directing Analyst, Optical Andrew Schmitt argues that the benefits of coherent-enabled 100-Gbps technology will lead carriers to adopt 100G more quickly than traditional economic benchmarks would indicate.

Schmitt says that the optical networking market is in the latter stages of what he calls the era of “WDM/ROADM/40G.” As its name implies, this era includes the widespread deployment of 10-Gbps WDM systems and the introduction of reconfigurable optical add/drop multiplexer (ROADM) and 40-Gbps technology, as well as an increasing use of Optical Transport Network (OTN) strategies to replace SONET/SDH. This period began in 2005 and should last until 2013, Schmitt predicts, at which point the optical reboot will begin.

That reboot, which should last until approximately 2020, will see a rapid shift toward 100-Gbps transport technology and the widespread use of coherent optics, ROADM/OTN mesh networking, and packet transport systems. A rethinking of the old “4X the bandwidth for 2.5X the price” rule of thumb for when a change in transmission rate becomes economically appealing (which equates to a 38.5% reduction in cost-per-bit) will prove a key catalyst. Schmitt says that Infonetics surveys reveal that carriers will be willing to move to either 40G from 10G or 100G from 40G when the higher-speed technology reduces cost-per-bit by only 25%.

This will prove better news for 100-Gbps technology than 40-Gbps. The price of 10-Gbps technology continues to decline rapidly, making even a 25% reduction in cost-per-bit a challenging goal to hit, Schmitt points out. Meanwhile, he estimates that the cost of 100-Gbps technology will achieve 2X that of 40 Gbps as soon as 2013.

For this reason, Schmitt predicts that 100-Gbps equipment sales should take off in 2013, and exceed 40G revenue as quickly as the following year.

Copies of “The Fast Approaching 100G Era” are available for free at Infonetics’ website.

For information on high-speed systems and suppliers, visit the Lightwave Buyers Guide.

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