Windstream, Infinera, partner on next-gen optical infrastructure

Created March 4, 2022
News and Business

Windstream Wholesale and Infinera plan to collaborate on an initiative to transform Windstream’s optical network infrastructure. The modernised network will enable Windstream to offer innovative new connectivity services optimised to support the hyperscale capacity growth of its customers. As part of Windstream’s Intelligent Converged Optical Network (ICON) initiative, this collaboration will leverage optical networking technologies to provide a new level of control, visibility, and automation to Windstream’s optical network.

The next-generation optical infrastructure is based on Node-on-a-Blade, a technology jointly pioneered by both Infinera and Windstream. Infinera says the technology represents the next evolution of ROADM-based solutions that will provide a more advanced and cost-effective approach to optical networking enabling deployment across a wider variety of network locations. With advanced capabilities such as a coherent optical channel monitor and a coherent probe, Windstream’s ICON will provide a new level of optical analytics and control.

This transformative approach to optical network architectures, says Infinera, will enable the virtualisation of private optical networks and facilitate the broad deployment of distributed compute resources, which will be critical to maximising the power of 5G and cloud-based services. In addition to enabling seamless scalability and dynamic network connectivity, ICON will put an unprecedented level of control in the hands of Windstream’s customers.

“Node-on-a-Blade technology will be a powerful tool in the evolution and transformation of optical networks,” said Ron Johnson, general manager, Optical Systems and Network Solutions Group at Infinera. “Infinera is excited to work with Windstream to usher in a new era of optical networking capabilities and the services this new architecture will enable.”

“Networks and service offerings need to transform to provide better support for hyperscale customers as initiatives like distributed computing evolve,” said Art Nichols, vice president of architecture and technology at Windstream. “Key technologies such as Node-on-a-Blade and innovative partners like Infinera will be instrumental in enabling Windstream’s ICON vision to better support continued edge traffic growth and introduce a new class of hyperscale optimised network services that will provide unique value to our customers.”

Back in June 2020, Infinera and Windstream, completed a live network trial that achieved an 800G single-wavelength transmission over 730km across Windstream’s long-haul network between San Diego and Phoenix.

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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.