NWIX chooses Cube Optics, Ekinops for ROADM-based transport network

16 JUNE 2009 -- Ekinops 360 platform enables NWIX to expand network incrementally.

16 JUNE 2009 -- Passive WDM technologies vendor Cube Optics AG (search Lightwave for Cube Optics) and optical transport equipment manufacturer Ekinops (search Lightwave for Ekinops) have been selected by UK operator NWIX as key suppliers for its planned network expansion. The deployments provide additional capacity and reach through Ekinops' reconfigurable add/drop multiplexer (ROADM) capabilities and support the future growth of NWIX's high-capacity national optical network.

"We needed a robust and flexible technology for our core network and for interconnecting with our customers," notes Nick Whittaker, chief technology officer of NWIX. "Our customers demand a low-latency service, which necessitates aggressive reroute times. The Cube Optics/Ekinops solution will be used to ensure low latency; it also provides flexibility, due to its ability to start small but migrate to provide up to 80 channels per fibre pair when necessary."

Whittaker adds that the Ekinops platform will enable NWIX to change its investment in the network over time with a "pay-as-you-grow" approach, "which allows us to provide services to customers at a cost-effective price point from the outset rather than passing through a high investment cost that a 'big bang' approach dictates."

Whittaker says the elimination of regeneration sites and provision of optical links of several hundred kilometres were key points for using the Ekinops 360.

"Ekinops' advanced DynaFEC (dynamic forward-error correction) and DynaMux (dynamic multiplexing) technologies also allow for reduced initial cost. DynaFEC, a leading FEC technology, uses software techniques to eliminate errors and extend to longer distances rather than utilizing more expensive electro-optic means to achieve the required distances. DynaMux allows for the multiplexing of any mix of service types over a single wavelength, reducing the required number of wavelengths in converged networks," he says.

NWIX was looking for equipment occupying minimal space while consuming as little power as possible in each of its network sites. The Cube Optics Network Solution incorporating the Ekinops 360 platform is reportedly amongst the lowest-power-consuming systems in the industry.

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