Verizon begins backbone convergence

Verizon (NYSE, NASDAQ: VZ) has begun work on converging its four packet backbone networks into a single global IP infrastructure based on MPLS, Executive Vice President and CTO Tony Melone told attendees yesterday at TIA 2012: Inside the Network during his keynote address.

Verizon (NYSE, NASDAQ: VZ) has begun work on converging its four packet backbone networks into a single global IP infrastructure based on MPLS, Executive Vice President and CTO Tony Melone told attendees yesterday at TIA 2012: Inside the Network during his keynote address.

In a session with reporters and analysts after his address, Melone said the strategy was to build a new 100-Gbps backbone and migrate the four existing backbones onto it to reduce cost per bit. He described the process as “multi-year,” but noted that “few things of this type take more than three or four years.”

The current four backbones cover private, public, wireless data, and switched Ethernet applications, he said.

Multiple vendors will supply hardware for the effort, with Melone citing Alcatel-Lucent, Ciena, Cisco, and Juniper Networks as major players. Asked about a preferred technology direction to achieve the convergence, and IP/optical convergence specifically, Melone responded that Verizon likely will use a variety of approaches based on the part of the network in question. No one approach will dominate, he indicated.

Melone said Verizon is very interested in being able to support data rates of 400 Gbps and 1 Tbps, noting that he expects Verizon “will be at the forefront of it when it’s available.” Alcatel-Lucent and Ciena have already said they expect to have 400-Gbps technology ready for trial by the end of this year or the beginning of next (see “Alcatel-Lucent makes 400-Gbps play” and “Ciena's third generation of Wavelogic processors supports 400G”).


More in High-Speed Networks