Verizon (NYSE, NASDAQ:VZ) has finally announced plans to deploy 100-Gigabit Ethernet technology in its U.S. long-haul network. The carrier will use the same platform pairing – routers from Juniper Networks and optical transport platforms from Ciena – as its current 100-Gbps optical network link between Paris and Frankfurt (see “Verizon completes first 100 Gigabit Ethernet deployment on European IP backbone link”).
Verizon has targeted three routes for upgrade to 100-Gbps by the end of the second quarter of this year:
- Chicago to New York
- Sacramento to Los Angeles
- Minneapolis to Kansas City.
The deployments will use newly fielded OME 6500 platforms from Ciena, a source at the company told Lightwave. Verizon selected the equipment after issuing an RFP.
The fact that Verizon’s first 100G deployment came in Europe made sense because Ciena (through its acquisition of Nortel) was the first systems vendor to offer 100-Gbps technology commercially and Verizon had already fielded Ciena OME 6500 platforms capable of upgrade to 100G in its European network. Those Ciena systems aren’t as ubiquitous in Verizon’s U.S. network, and so Verizon had been working closely with suppliers such as Alcatel-Lucent and Nokia Siemens Networks – as well as Ciena – to add 100-Gbps capabilities to their systems, Glenn Wellbrock, director of optical transport network architecture at Verizon, told Lightwave early last year (see “Verizon plans more 100G and 40G deployments”).
Alcatel-Lucent subsequently has announced 100-Gigabit Ethernet capabilities for its portfolio, with which it has conducted at least one field trail with Verizon (see “Verizon trials 100-Gigabit Ethernet with Alcatel-Lucent”). Meanwhile, Nokia Siemens Networks sources at OFC/NFOEC earlier this month told Lightwave that their 100-Gbps technology would be ready for customer trials in June of this year.
However, the use of the new Ciena gear in Verizon’s first announced deployment suggests that Ciena maintains a lead versus its competition in terms of commercial 100-Gbps technology – at least within Verizon’s network.