TSIC nears metro optical transport vendor selection

Sources at TeliaSonera International Carrier (TSIC) say the company could conclude its next-generation metro optical transport supplier selection as early as next week. While stressing that a final decision has not been made, the sources indicated that it's looking likely the winner will be a company that is already supplying optical communications gear to them.

Sources at TeliaSonera International Carrier (TSIC) say the company could conclude its next-generation metro optical transport supplier selection as early as next week. While stressing that a final decision has not been made, the sources indicated that it's looking likely the winner will be a company that is already supplying optical communications gear to them.

The metro systems upgrade comes as TSIC looks to expand its footprint in Europe and particularly in North America, according to Mattias Fridstrom, vice president and head of technology. The company is eager to expand its ability to supply both capacity services and infrastructure services, he said. In the United States, Fridstrom said the carrier is particularly interested in expanding its capabilities in the eastern part of the country to accommodate traffic coming from Mexico, other parts of Latin America into Florida, as well as across the Atlantic. Announcements of new fiber routes should begin in the next few weeks.

The company likely won't make an announcement of its new metro optical supplier in the same timeframe, but will should inform those in the competition of its choice in the very near future. Fridstrom noted that in Europe, TSIC has used equipment from ADVA Optical Networking in its metro deployments. According to Art Kazmierczak, director, business and network development - Americas at TSIC, important characteristics the carrier wants to leverage include high-density 100G and 10G transport, fast service provisioning and delivery (the company strives to supply 100G services in four weeks), and ROADM capability to support optical express. Conversely, a clear pathway to data rates beyond 100G is not as important to TSIC as it might be to other carriers, due to the abundance of fiber in its networks, particularly in Europe.

In addition to ADVA, TSIC is known to use Infinera's DTN-X, Coriant's hIT 7300, and Optical Transport Network (OTN) switching systems from Ciena. Other vendors, of course, could be present as well. Fridstrom said that while Ciena was the clear leader in OTN switching when the carrier shopped for such technology a few years ago, the metro optical transport playing field is much more level. He said that the supplier decision is proving somewhat challenging.

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