Interest growing in 200 Gbps for the metro

Carriers are showing increasing interest in 200 Gbps as a metro network transmission rate, multiple vendor sources tell Lightwave. The fact that there likely won’t be any standards created for such a data rate doesn’t seem to be an impediment, they report.

Jun 18th, 2013

Carriers are showing increasing interest in 200 Gbps as a metro network transmission rate, multiple vendor sources tell Lightwave. The fact that there likely won’t be any standards created for such a data rate doesn’t seem to be an impediment, they report.

The jump to 200 Gbps would leverage the 16-QAM technology earmarked for 400-Gbps optical transmission. Dino DiPerna, Ciena’s vice president of transport and switching R&D, and Helen Xenos, the company’s director, product and technology marketing, say that some carrier customers participating in the company’s multi-week Vectors briefing sessions in Ottawa, Canada, like the idea of using 200 Gbps as a way to aggregate twenty 10-Gbps streams with even more spectral efficiency than 10x10 Gbps can provide. The fact that mobile networks will likely create large, concentrated traffic flows at the edge of metro networks will exacerbate the potential need for 200 Gbps, adds Ciena Senior Vice President and CTO Steve Alexander.

Ciena has demonstrated the 16-QAM capabilities necessary to support 200 Gbps (see, for example, "BT and Ciena trial 800G superchannel"). However the company hasn’t yet made it commercially available. The Ciena sources declined to reveal when they will reach that milestone.

Manish Gulyani, vice president, product marketing for the IP, Optics & Wireline Networks Group at Alcatel-Lucent, reports that he and his coworkers are hearing the same message. He’s confident that 16-QAM will support the 500-km reach such 200-Gbps metro applications would require.

Alcatel-Lucent has deployed its 400-Gbps technology in a live link between Paris and Lyon (see “Orange, Alcatel-Lucent provide live 400G link to RENATER”).

Neither the Ciena nor Alcatel-Lucent sources expect a significant number of 200-Gbps deployments anytime soon. However trials of 200 Gbps are likely to begin in the near future, Gulyani predicts.

For more information on high-speed transmission systems and suppliers, visit the Lightwave Buyer’s Guide.

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