Windstream Wholesale and Nokia demonstrate 800G on a single wavelength

Dec. 14, 2023
As traffic demands soar, the trial validates Windstream’s ability to migrate to supporting 800GE Wave and IP services efficiently with high spectral efficiency and low power-per-bit over any distance. 

Windstream Wholesale and Nokia completed a trial of 800 Gigabit Ethernet (GE) service transmission over a single 800 Gbps wavelength over a 1,386-kilometer link across Windstream’s live network.

Leveraging Nokia's FP5 IP service routing platforms with 800GE interfaces and Nokia optical transport platforms with 6th generation super coherent Photonic Service Engine (PSE-6s) technology, this demonstration validates the readiness of Windstream Wholesale’s network to provision 800GE business and wholesale services to support soaring customer traffic volumes.

The trial was conducted over Windstream’s Intelligent Converged Optical Network (ICON) backbone connecting Atlanta, GA, to Miami, FL, and leveraging one of Windstream Wholesale’s latest East Coast ICON routes into Florida. The Nokia 7750 Service Router with an 800GE interface was connected to Nokia’s production-ready 1830 PSI-M optical transport platform with PSE-6s line cards operating at 800 Gbps per wavelength over a third-party WDM line system.

The trial ran across 16 spans and seven ROADM nodes in the Windstream ICON network and demonstrated the first turn-up of error-free performance at 800G over a long-haul link with 800GE service bandwidth.

This combination of Nokia 800GE routing and 800 Gbps long-haul optical transport enables Windstream to scale network capacity over its backbone and provide wholesale Wave service connectivity at both 400GE and 800GE speeds.

Realizing efficiencies

The trial also showcased new efficiencies for Windstream Wholesale. It can use fewer clients and transponder ports while reducing network power-per-bit for both IP and optical network layers.

Windstream’s ICON provides open and disaggregated networking infrastructure, enabling wholesale and enterprise technology customers to select unique custom routes, maintain operational insights with Windstream’s Network Intelligence functions, and place their networks closer to the edge to serve end-users better.


“Windstream Wholesale is fully committed to being at the forefront of connectivity and cutting-edge technology,” said Joe Scattareggia, the new president of Windstream Wholesale. “We maintained this commitment as the first to introduce 400G to the market and are poised to advance these technologies, aiming to deliver 800G wave services from metro to ultra-long-haul distances to customers in 2024.” 

Enhancing reach, management

The company has continued to enhance and expand its ICON network. Windstream recently finished its new long-haul dark fiber route connecting three southern markets—Tulsa, Little Rock and Memphis.

The new Little Rock to Memphis route is an addition to the company’s initial segment, dubbed the “T-Rock Express,” released to customers in August 2022, which connects Tulsa, Oklahoma, to Little Rock.

But network expansion is only part of Windstream Wholesale’s approach to enhancing its long-haul network.

The company has implemented new elements that allow it to be proactive about network health.

Windstream Wholesale has deployed an integrated OTDR system across most of its nationwide network with its partner, VIAVI. It enables real-time route monitoring and immediate notification and location of any fiber cut, dramatically speeding the fiber and service restoral process.

By integrating VIAVI’s Remote Fiber Test System (RFTS) into its Intelligent Converged Optical Network (ICON), Windstream Wholesale advances network intelligence functionality for Dark Fiber and Wavelength monitoring.

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About the Author

Sean Buckley

Sean is responsible for establishing and executing the editorial strategies of Lightwave and Broadband Technology Report across their websites, email newsletters, events, and other information products.

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