Windstream integrates 400ZR+ QSFP-DD transceivers into Nokia routers

Oct. 18, 2022
The milestone signals that Windstream can move forward with deploying the combinations into its Intelligent Converged Optical Network (ICON) and ICON-Edge to enable streamlined metro router interconnect and IP/optical layer integration.

Windstream Wholesale says it has achieved full integration of the 400ZR QSFP-DD optical transceivers it co-developed with Coherent Corp. (Nasdaq: COHR) into Nokia 7250 IXR X1 and 7250 IXR-X3 routers. The milestone signals that Windstream can move forward with deploying the combinations into its Intelligent Converged Optical Network (ICON) and ICON-Edge to enable streamlined metro router interconnect and IP/optical layer integration.

The wholesale fiber network services provider revealed its intentions to follow the IP-over-DWDM path in 2021 (see “Windstream Wholesale runs 400G ZR+ transmission more than 1000 km in live network”). It later announced an agreement with Coherent (then II-VI) to develop the necessary 400ZR+, 0-dBm TX power optical transceivers (see “Windstream Wholesale to co-develop 0-dBm 400G optical transceivers with II-VI”). The implementation will include ROADM-enabled routes and thus will not be limited to only point-to-point routes.

The approach is designed to be open. Other benefits, says Windstream, include a significant reduction in capex and opex by eliminating intermediate DCI-style systems, an increase in 400G transceiver density (which saves on space and power), and improved network reliability and availability.

“This announcement demonstrates Windstream’s technology leadership in the evolution of both optical and packet networking,” said Art Nichols, chief technology officer for Windstream Enterprise and Wholesale. “Windstream’s ability to manage everything from the base science technology through system integration is key to achieving new architectural breakthroughs. Coherent and Nokia have been outstanding partners throughout the development process.”

“It’s been exciting to work with Windstream and Nokia at the frontier of high-speed transmission technology, transforming proprietary line cards into standardized pluggable transceivers that are much easier to provision on Nokia’s routers and deploy in Windstream’s network,” said Matthias Berger, vice president, coherent technology, Coherent Corp. “With our three-way collaboration, we were able to develop in record time a seamless interface between the transceiver and the router, enabling a rich set of features that Windstream can begin leveraging right from the very first deployment. It’s personally exciting to see such compact 400 Gbps pluggable coherent transceiver technology come to fruition on the way to 1 Tbps and beyond.”

“Nokia is proud to partner with Windstream on its successful deployment of 0 dBm 400ZR+ coherent optics on the Nokia 7250 IXR-X1 and 7250 IXR-X3 routing platforms and SR OS operating system,” said Juan Rodriguez, senior director, IP consulting engineering at Nokia. “This significantly expands the scope for coherent routing applications and provides another great proof point of the leading IP-optical network design capabilities that Nokia can bring to Windstream and the larger market.”

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