AT&T to hold 400GbE tests in 2017

31 October 2016 | James Pearce


AT&T has announced plans to trial 400 gigabit Ethernet speeds for businesses (GbE) in early 2017.

The US operator has set itself a goal to become the first in the industry to demonstrate 400GbE services across a production network. The service will offer customers greater bandwidth, faster upload and download speeds, and much greater capacity.

Data traffic on AT&T’s network grew more than 150,000% between 2017 and 2015, the operator revealed, with 400GbE services capable of handling increased demand. For example, a 400GbE connection would have the capability to download 10 two-hour movies in less than a second.

The test will be carried out in three phases. The first will see AT&T using optical equipment from Coriant to carry a 400GbE global backbone from New York to Washington.

Then it will trial the service on a single 400G wavelength across its OpenROADM metro network. Finally, the third phase will see the first test instance of a 400GbE on an open router platform.

"Although there have been efforts focused on 400 Gigabit Ethernet viability and industry standards over the past couple of years, we are excited to be the first to implement a pilot," said Rick Hubbard, senior vice president, AT&T Network Product Management. "400GbE has the potential to transform how our largest retail and wholesale customers manage their networks today."