AT&T recently announced that it was launching 400GbE over its existing fiber optic communication network. AT&T claims that it will be the first to demonstrate 400GbE.
When implemented, 400GbE will offer business customers endless possibilities. Applications will include the transporting of massive amounts of data, faster streaming of ultra-high definition video and many other bandwidth hungry applications.
Following the ratification of the 100GbE standard in 2010, the next logical step was 10x the speed or 1TbE. But with current technology, 1TbE would take a major effort to develop. The IEEE study group settled on an intermediate speed of 400GbE which is more easily achievable with current technology. The standard is expected to be ratified by early to mid-2017, but this does not stop industry leaders such as AT&T to demonstrate and move on with the technology.
The AT&T trials will be in three phases.
First, AT&T will use Coriant advanced optical transmission equipment to transmit 400GbE over an existing backbone span from New York City, to Washington, D.C. This will demonstrate that AT&T’s nationwide network is 400G ready.
Second, AT&T will use Ciena transmission equipment to transmit 400GbE over a single 400G wavelength of AT&T’s openROADM. The openROADM network uses ROADMs (Reconfigurable Optical Add/Drop Multiplexers) to configure high speed optical traffic. The Ciena equipment uses coherent technology that enables the transmission of high speed traffic over existing optical fiber.
Finally, AT&T will demonstrate the transmission of 400GbE open router platform. AT&T has not disclosed details of the router and its manufacturer.
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