Verizon to deploy new Alcatel-Lucent wavelength routing technology

Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU) says that Verizon will deploy a new optical wavelength routing technology on its U.S. ultra-long-haul network. Combined with the use of electrical switches, the new capability, available on the 1830 Photonic Service Switch (PSS), will enable Verizon to perform multilayer end-to-end service provisioning. The technology also supports capacity "defragmentation" as well as automated restoration, assert sources at Alcatel-Lucent.

Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU) says that Verizon will deploy a new optical wavelength routing technology on its U.S. ultra-long-haul network. Combined with the use of electrical switches, the new capability, available on the 1830 Photonic Service Switch (PSS), will enable Verizon to perform multilayer end-to-end service provisioning. The technology also supports capacity "defragmentation" as well as automated restoration, assert sources at Alcatel-Lucent.

The new wavelength routing capability, developed in collaboration with Verizon but which will be offered to other customers, pairs the colorless/directionless/contentionless/flexible grid (CDC-F) ROADM capabilities of the 1830 PSS with the Wavelength Routing Engine (WRE) software suite. The WRE combines optimized versions of previously available software-based features as well as new network optimization and control features that leverage the CDC-F functions, according to Sam Bucci, senior vice president and general manager, IP transport for Alcatel-Lucent's IP Routing and Transport business, and Kevin Drury, optical products and solutions marketing leader at the company. Elements of the WRE include a power control algorithm, a Layer 0 control algorithm for path computation; in-band OAM capabilities and the company's Wavelength Tracker features, and in-band OTDR functions that help identify fault locations to enable planning and execution of automated rerouting.

The new features enable a significant amount of routing and traffic flow management at Layer 0, which saves significant cost, Bucci said. It also will provide scale through the ability to support superchannel transmission.

Drury said the automation capabilities provide a step toward software-defined networking (SDN). The automated protection capabilities are particularly attractive, he said, and include the ability to switch wavelengths from a down equipment port to a restoration port, thus keeping the service on its original wavelength. Overall, the wavelength routing technology enables efficient use of network resources for restoration in a way that minimizes stranded bandwidth and standby resources, he said.

The technology also supports "wavelength defragmentation," which Drury and Bucci said resembles memory defragmentation on a computer. Verizon can survey the wavelengths being used on its network and adjust wavelength colors so that a service uses the same color from end to end. This frees previously stranded bandwidth to be used for other services and can improve bandwidth utilization by as much as 30%.

While Verizon's is the first commercial deployment of the technology "at scale," Bucci and Drury said the company has multiple benchmark tests and trials planned for the next two months. They point out that, given that the technology is "not inexpensive," large-scale networks will see the most benefit and return on investment from the new capabilities.

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