Alcatel's DWDM solutions selected by Portugal Telecom for its national optical backbone

Apr. 25, 2001--PT-Comunicações (PT Com), a company owned by Portugal Telecom, awarded a contract to Alcatel, a provider of intelligent optical networking, to build Portugal's first 32-channel DWDM long-haul transmission network.

PT-Comunicações (PT Com), a company owned by Portugal Telecom -- purportedly the largest telecom and multimedia business organization in Portugal -- awarded Alcatel (Paris: CGEP.PA and NYSE: ALA), a provider of intelligent optical networking, a multi-million Euro contract to build Portugal's first 32-channel DWDM (Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing) long-haul transmission network.

The new high-capacity and high-speed national backbone, which just initiated real traffic operations, is connecting the two major cities across Portugal -- Lisbon and Oporto -- spanning 350 kilometers and is interfacing with Portugal Telecom's existing transmission core network, based on Alcatel's Synchronous Digital Hierarchy (SDH) systems. This expansion provides Portugal Telecom with the necessary bandwidth capacity to deploy broadband services demanded by the Portuguese market.

The 32-channel DWDM system supplied -- part of the Optinex family, Alcatel's transmission products -- can operate up to 10Gbit/s and is equipped with FEC (Forward Error Correction) technology, which enables Portugal Telecom to substantially optimize its network operating costs. The DWDM link is managed by Alcatel's integrated management platform already deployed by Portugal Telecom to manage and supervise the SDH core backbone.

The Optinex family of carrier-class transmission solutions is designed to offer services to business and residential users, including IP-based services with guaranteed IP Quality of Services (QoS). IP and ATM grooming and forwarding functionality is introduced into Optinex Multiservice Nodes and Gateways, thus drastically reducing the amount of investments needed to build up a transmission network and to operate it. The current terrestrial Optinex product range also includes wide-band optical amplifiers and Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing systems (DWDM) with high-channel counts and very high-performance applications, able to multiplex up to 160 channels-upgradeable to 240-with optical tributaries from 100Mbit/s to 10Gbit/s. Within this range, Optinex Optical networks Systems are capable of reaching up to 2.4 Tbit/s. of capacity. All the above mentioned systems are managed by a single, fully integrated Network Management System enabling efficient traffic control and routing throughout all network levels, from local up to intercontinental links and from submarine to terrestrial ones.

Forward Error Correction (FEC) is a technique by means of which redundancy (i.e. extra information) is transmitted together with transported data, using a pre-determined algorithm. Thanks to redundancy, the receiving device can detect and correct multiple bit-errors that may occur during transmission. The signal transmitted with FEC is more "robust," thus allowing operators to build up longer distance connections without the deployment of many repeater stations.

About Portugal Telecom:

Portugal Telecom provides telecommunications and multimedia services in Portugal, Brazil and other international markets. Portugal Telecom service offers mobile services, multimedia services (such as pay TV, Internet access, portal and e-commerce services), data and business solutions (such as data communications, business-to-business e-commerce and data and networking solutions), and wireline telephone services for retail and wholesale customers.

About Alcatel:

Alcatel provides all optical network elements, from optical components, optical fibers, DWDM systems and microwave radio links to core routers and network intelligence, and from terrestrial to submarine solutions. For more information, visit

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