The 40G North-South trial, conducted over a 350-km (217 mile) span of Virgin Media's current UK 10G network, demonstrated the economic feasibility of optimizing existing optical network assets and scaling the network to achieve 40G transmission rates, the companies said.
For the trial, believed to be the first of its kind in the UK, Nortel provided 40G Adaptive Optical Engine DWDM transponder cards which interconnected with Juniper Networks T-series routers with 40G interfaces located at sites in Manchester and London.
The live field trial, conducted in late April 2008, carried 40G traffic generated by Virgin Media and delivered over its long-haul optical network between Manchester and London. The trial positions Virgin Media as the first UK operator to offer 40G wavelength services between UK locations and, following the success of the pilot, the company is now looking to deploy. This will enable Virgin Media to continue to grow and scale new premium-quality business and entertainment services with low incremental investment.
"Our aim for this trial was to ensure we continue to meet the growing capacity needs of the high-speed services we deliver and provide a quality experience for Virgin Media customers," said Daniel Hennessy, director of technical architecture, Virgin Media. "Our strategic suppliers have demonstrated very clearly how existing network assets can be scaled to meet the growth in demand associated with evolving customer behaviour and step changes in the products provided as part of our high-speed broadband proposition. Our optical network will provide a solid foundation for growth as it takes advantage of technology designed to avoid electrical regeneration and where possible reduce the incremental cost of scaling transport capacity."
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