Verizon to quadruple fibre capacity after Ciena and Juniper trial

Kevin Smith Verizon.jpg

Ciena and Juniper have helped Verizon push the amount of data a fibre can carry on a single wavelength to an unprecedented 800Gbps.

This technological breakthrough means that the capacity of existing fibre networks could potentially be increased – and means operators could build new fibre networks  to cater for future 5G applications.

“In the past, we needed to combine multiple wavelengths to achieve 800Gbps capacity,” said Kevin Smith (pictured), vice president of technology and planning for Verizon. “Now, with the new optics configuration from Ciena and Juniper Networks on our fibre network, we are advancing our connecting layer of fibre to prepare for the explosion of data we know will come along with 5G’s transformational impact on industries and consumers.”

Verizon said it will begin deploying this new optical configuration in the fibre network in the second half of 2020 – quadrupling its existing capacity.

The three companies demonstrated the technology on Verizon’s existing live network, which also allowed them to show equipment interoperability from two different suppliers.

According to Verizon, the test traffic was transmitted between two Juniper Networks QFX 5220 packet platforms across two Ciena 6500 platforms powered by WaveLogic 5 Extreme (WL5e) coherent optics.

The technology will allow Verizon to tune the capacity from 200Gbps to the new maximum of 800Gbps according to network demand, using software-driven automated network techniques.

Scott McFeely, senior vice president of global products and services for Ciena, explained that 800Gbps “is possible today with our WaveLogic 5 Extreme technology and this live network trial is remarkable because it shows the progression of capacity and efficiencies”.

Sally Bament, Juniper’s vice president for cloud and service provider marketing, said: "As network traffic continues to grow sharply, driven by video and other new 5G use cases, it’s imperative for communications service providers and infrastructure vendors to work closely together for rapid innovation.”

McFeely noted: “Programmable 200-800Gbps transmission will allow Verizon to effectively respond to fluctuating user demands by creating a more software-driven, programmable and highly scalable network.”

Bament explained that new 400GbE packet routers and 800G coherent optical systems will “help drive down the cost per bit with improved scale and density”.