Verizon, Comcast, tap Ciena for speed and distance trials

Created March 2, 2020
Applications and Research

Verizon, along with Ciena and Juniper Networks, has recently completed a test in Verizon’s live fibre network to move 800 Gbps of data on a single wavelength to support  the demands of 5G. At the same time, Ciena revealed it had achieved 600Gbps across a Comcast 1,600-kilometer fibre connection between core peering locations in Newark, New Jersey, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. To test the full capabilities of the technology, Comcast also looped back the signal and verified successful operation of 600Gbps across 1,600-kilometers.

Speaking about the Verizon trial, Kevin N. Smith, vice president of technology and planning for Verizon said, “In the past, we needed to combine multiple wavelengths to achieve 800 Gbps capacity, Now, with the new optics configuration from Ciena and Juniper Networks on our fibre network, we are advancing our connecting layer of fibre to prepare for the explosion of data we know will come along with 5G’s transformational impact on industries and consumers. And being the only provider in the industry with that capacity on a single wavelength allows us to deliver the service at a much lower cost per bit.”

This successful trial on Verizon’s live fibre network showed equipment interoperability from two different suppliers and the capability to quadruple the typical capacity carried on a wavelength. The test traffic was transmitted between two Juniper Networks QFX 5220 packet platforms across two Ciena 6500 platforms powered by WaveLogic 5 Extreme (WL5e) coherent optics. Verizon will begin deploying this new optical configuration in the fibre network in the second half of 2020.

Comcast Labs and Network Engineering teams effectively doubled the wavelength capacity across the mixed fiber link while leveraging Ciena’s WL5e technology. As the industry’s first programmable 800G solution, The deployment of WL5e on the link between Newark and Pittsburgh is the first in Ciena’s Waveserver 5 form factor. Waveserver 5 leverages WaveLogic 5 coherent technology to scale up to 12.8Tbps in a compact 2RU footprint, allowing Comcast to maximise firer capacity and reduce the amount of hardware required to support high-bandwidth service growth.

“As the largest fixed-broadband provider in the US, we know the way people consume media and data, in general, is changing and we’re committed to continue and support the increased customer demand with increased capacity across our network,” said Noam Raffaelli, senior vice president, network and communications engineering at Comcast. “This recent achievement allows us to benefit from Ciena’s continued innovation in its coherent optical technology, optimising both our network architecture as well as our overall cost per bit.”

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This article was written
by Peter Dykes

Peter Dykes is a independent telecoms and technology journalist who has over that last 30 years written for a wide range of B2B publications and companies. A former BT engineer, he specialises in networks and associated support systems. He is currently Editor of Optical Connections.