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Verizon Talks GMPLS, 100-Gig

September 26, 2008 | Chris Payatagool

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) piled on some more optical networking test results today, trying to keep its name at the forefront of work with generalized MPLS (GMPLS) and 100-Gbit/s networking.

Earlier this week, Verizon said it had completed some GMPLS interoperability exercises, mixing it up with Ciena Corp. (Nasdaq: CIEN), Fujitsu Network Communications Inc. , and Tellabs Inc. (Nasdaq: TLAB) gear on the Verizon Business network.


Verizon Network Map

It's another step towards the goal of immediate point-and-click provisioning of the optical network -- as opposed to the weeks-long, hands-on provisioning that was done in the 90s. Plenty of interoperabilty tests have been run by groups like the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the Optical Internetworking Forum (OIF) , but Verizon says this was the first one run on a commercial network.

Possibly more important, Verizon was testing an external network-to-network interface, as opposed to an internal one. The external interface is the type that would be needed to provision a path through, say, both the Verizon and AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T - message board) networks -- a factor of carrier interoperability, in other words.

But it's also applicable in cases where a large carrier like Verizon has a network split into separate domains.

"It's starting to come together, where the vendors are doing interoperability with GA [general availability]-qualified software and offering it as part of their feature package," says Bill Uliasz, Verizon's director of video systems integration.

Verizon's using a GMPLS control plane in some parts of its network already. It powers a broadband-on-demand service that was announced for New York City in August, for instance.

Eventually, Verizon wants to deploy GMPLS pervasively, not just to speed up service provisioning times, but also to help in areas like inventory management, Uliasz says.

Separately, Verizon gave an ECOC paper on a 111-Gbit/s trial on its Richardson, Texas, network. Verizon had announced that test, which used Nokia Siemens Networks hiT 7500 gear, early this month.

Since then, an interesting wrinkle has emerged. Despite being a known customer of StrataLight Communications , Nokia Siemens apparently developed its prototype 100-Gbit/s transponders on its own, according to analyst Paul Bonenfant of Morgan Keegan & Company Inc. StrataLight officials did not respond to a request for comment.

Interestingly, Verizon's press release talks about packing one fiber with 80 wavelengths that run 100 Gbit/s each, numbers that multiply out to 8 Tbit/s. That's becoming a magic number in optical, apparently, as both Infinera Corp. (Nasdaq: INFN - message board) and OpVista Inc. have made boasts this year about 8 Tbit/s-per-fiber capabilities.

[via Light Reading]

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