400G everywhere is here.

Created June 8, 2021
Technical Features

400G everywhere is here.

No barriers. Only opportunities.


The era of 400G is redefining the way IP and optical networks are designed, deployed and delivered – breaking down barriers and radically changing efficiency. Nokia is leading the way with an unrivalled portfolio of 400G transport solutions that let you create application-optimized IP-optical transport networks, your way. These solutions put our game-changing optical technology in your hands and your IP and optical networks on the same wavelength.

Thanks to the network pioneers at Nokia, advances in 400G transport are empowering the next generation of IP services at 400 Gigabit Ethernet. Finally, you can implement efficient IP-optical solutions for every application that runs on your network – from the metro edge to subsea communications, creating the kind of efficient, application-optimized network that could only be hoped for.

Pluggable coherent transceivers are bringing IP and optical together at last, while the latest generation of coherent digital signal processors enables high-performance 400G transmission over any distance. It’s all unleashing a new wave of network innovation.

400G is the new universal currency for IP-optical convergence.

Traffic demand grows continuously and exponentially, driven by the world’s insatiable appetite for on-demand content and cloud applications, all heightened by the pandemic. But the underlying “speeds and feeds” at which network equipment connects and operates grow predictably, even slowly. The data carrying capacity, or speed, of router and switch ports is gated by the development, standardization and commercialization of Ethernet — Gigabit Ethernet in 1998, 10 Gigabit Ethernet in 2002, 100 Gigabit Ethernet in 2010 and now 400 Gigabit Ethernet (400GE). Each new rate becomes the currency of high-speed network connectivity and services for a generation, and its adoption is the catalyst for a new network investment cycle.

Fed by silicon advances that have enabled massive increases in switching capacity, routers must also move this data into and out of their switch fabric and connect to one another at high speeds and over distance.

By combining a fourfold increase in port bandwidth with advances in coherent electro-optics, 400GE promises to unleash a new wave of network innovation that will transform the way IP-optical networks are built and operated. It’s therefore no surprise that a new era of IP-optical integration is poised to emerge alongside the wide adoption of a new Ethernet rate.

400G is poised to become the universal network currency for years to come. Operators are confronting how to economically scale, and looking for more ways to get value from their optical networks. Investing in pluggable DCOs can help operators increase efficiency and create exciting possibilities in the 400G era, bringing true IP-optical integration within reach.

What are the use cases and ingredients needed to enable 400G everywhere?

New developments in IP and optics are re-igniting discussion about IP-optical integration. Standardization of the 400GE protocol is leading the industry to embrace 400G as the new currency for high-bandwidth router connections. Router ports designed to accept 400G pluggable optics can now also be equipped with pluggable WDM coherent transceivers. These transceivers extend high-speed connections to much longer distances across the WAN and allow network operators to forgo the use of transponders implemented in a separate WDM transport system.

It all leads to two key questions:

  • What are the use cases for IP-optical integration?
  • What IP and optical elements are required to create a powerful end-to-end solution?

There are as many network types as there are network operators.

But we can narrow these down to a few typical cases that vary based on the increasing complexity of their service connections and network scope. There’s the simple point-to-point connection of multiple 400GE ports between routers — this includes campus networks, high-bandwidth access links and metro DCI, and it may extend to longer distances for regional DCI to enable data center virtualization. In other cases, network operators must connect routers across more complex networks, including metro aggregation rings, and metro-regional core networks.  In that case the optimal solution must support efficient IP-optical topologies across many nodes, longer distances, and more complex traffic patterns.

To create 400G IP-optical solutions that are more than the sum of their parts, operators need a complete set of hardware and software building blocks optimized around the new network currency of 400G.

Nokia has everything the ambitious network engineer needs, including a range of pluggable coherent optics, routing platforms optimized for 400G pluggable coherent transceivers, high-performance 400G coherent optics to enable 400G over any distance, multi-function optical line systems, and multilayer, end-to-end management.

Combined and deployed in synergy, these building blocks give network operators flexible options for addressing a wide range of network use cases without making trade-offs in efficiency or performance. This helps them avoid the need to over-design IP-optical solutions for short, point-to-point access and metro links, or to overspend on inefficient architectures or underperforming optics in more complex metro, regional and core networks, and allows network operators of all types to realize  the huge benefits of IP-optical integration and enable 400G everywhere.

Embrace radically efficient IP-optical networks at Nokia





This article was written
by Optical Connections News Team