Windstream taps Ciena for next-gen converged optical network

Created August 11, 2020
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Ciena says that US operator Windstream, will use Ciena’s photonic, coherent optical, and intelligent software platforms to build its National Converged Optical Network (NCON). The new network will allow Windstream to meet customers’ surging bandwidth demands driven by remote work and learning applications, cloud computing and video streaming. Windstream’s NCON will connect cities across its nationwide network, providing critical connectivity. The ultra-high-speed network will further enable capacity between Windstream’s Tier 1, 2, and 3 markets to major U.S. data centres, cable landing stations, and cross-border gateways.

Leveraging Ciena’s technology, NCON will scale and dynamically adjust for optimal capacity on any path and avoid potential faults by automatically re-routing traffic based on available network resources. The NCON architecture will enable Windstream to support rapidly evolving future technologies and growing bandwidth demands while maintaining the ability to support legacy networks and components. The key drivers for Windstream include open connectivity, modularity, and software control.

Windstream will deploy Ciena’s Waveserver 5 compact modular platform, powered by WaveLogic 5 Extreme, the industry’s first 800G solution that allows for efficient, high-speed 100GbE and 400GbE client connectivity across any distance over programmable 400-800Gbps wavelengths. Additionally, Windstream will be leveraging Ciena’s 6500 Reconfigurable Line System (RLS), claimed to be the first reconfigurable, fully programmable and integrated C&L-band line system to access double the optical spectrum capacity. With RLS, Windstream will achieve the highest level of network performance, with greater embedded intelligence for simpler planning and faster deployment.

Another key capability of Windstream’s NCON will be enabled by Ciena’s Manage, Control and Plan (MCP) domain controller, which will utilise automation features and operational diagnostics to proactively identify and prevent potential connectivity issues. NCON will also take advantage of Ciena’s Liquid Spectrum predictive analytics, which will act as the brains of the network to provide real-time visibility into network efficiency. Windstream will start deploying and turning up traffic on the new network in 3Q20.

Buddy Bayer, chief network officer, Windstream said, “Our increasingly digital world requires a differentiated network that pushes the boundaries of technology to take the connectivity experience to the next level. After extensive review in our quest to innovate and meet growing customer demands, it was clear that Ciena was the best partner to support our nationwide network transformation and ability to adapt to digital disruption. With NCON, Windstream will build an ultra-high capacity, intelligent network that will interoperate with our existing multi-vendor topology.”

“Windstream’s decision to partner with us again and build a world-class network that will span its entire U.S. footprint using our high-performance coherent optics and leading automation software not only demonstrates their industry leadership, but will help them deliver differentiated and innovative services while adapting to the disruptions and demands created by the digital economy,” commented  Jason Phipps, senior vice president of Global Sales and Marketing, Ciena.

For more information, visit www.ciena.com

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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.