Vodafone New Zealand completes 400G network trial with Ciena

Ciena Corp. (NASDAQ: CIEN) and Vodafone New Zealand report the completion of a successful field trial of 400-Gbps data transmission over an existing optical link carrying live network traffic.

Ciena Corp. (NASDAQ: CIEN) and Vodafone New Zealand report the completion of a successful field trial of 400-Gbps data transmission over an existing optical link carrying live network traffic.

The announcement is the latest from a string of operators checking out 400-Gbps technology. Market research firm Communications Industry Researchers (CIR) recently issued a report profiling no fewer than 25 400G field trials that have recently taken place (see “400G optical transport market worth $528 million by 2019 says CIR”).

Vodafone’s trial was conducted over a 200-km route between data centers at Auckland’s North Shore and Hamilton, demonstrating the viability of using innovative technology to achieve speeds up to 40 times faster than existing connections – without requiring costly network upgrades to Vodafone’s existing fiber infrastructure.

As a result, Vodafone foresees the opportunity to add a network equivalent of “high-speed traffic lanes” for customers with high-demand requirements.

Tony Baird, Vodafone’s head of networks, says the trial is a further milestone in the development of its network. “Our customers are increasingly turning to the cloud and other high-bandwidth services, and we’re seeing an insatiable demand for content, so the need for a reliable, low-latency network to enable the use of these services is paramount,” he said. “This technology offers the flexibility and scalability needed to meet these demands – at 100-Gbps speeds, 400-Gbps speeds and beyond – providing a programmable network that we can ramp up, essentially at the flick of a switch.”

In September last year, Vodafone deployed a 100-Gbps network using Ciena’s WaveLogic 3 technology connecting New Zealand’s major metro areas – Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. At 1,500 km across land and under sea, the connection is believed to be one of the longest 100-Gbps networks globally, and a first in New Zealand, the operator says (see “Vodafone New Zealand adds 100G via Ciena”). And in 2012, Vodafone connected the country’s first 100-Gbps data network by linking two of its Auckland data centers.

Anthony McLauchlan, vice president and general manager, Asia Pacific, Ciena, said, “Through this collaboration with Ciena, Vodafone has proven it can support high-speed data and significantly increase the traffic-carrying capacity of optical channels with no change to the underlying infrastructure – and that is a coup for any operator in this highly competitive market.”

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