Exa boosts former GTT network speed to 400Gbps

Exa boosts former GTT network speed to 400Gbps

18 October 2021 | Alan Burkitt-Gray

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Exa Infrastructure, the company that last month took over GTT Communications’ infrastructure, has upgraded two-thirds of its network to 400Gbps.

The upgrade includes the former Interoute network from Chicago and Toronto in the west to Bucharest and Sofia in the east – see map.  

Steve Roberts, Exa’s senior VP product and marketing, said: “There continues to be surging demand from our customers to carry more data, at greater speeds, and with greater efficiency, particularly for data centre-to-data centre connectivity.”

Exa Infrastructure will initially enable 65,000km of its network footprint to support 400G, including two transatlantic cables, which equate to more than 3,000 possible route combinations. 400G wavelengths are available from Exa with immediate effect, with further routes and points of presence to be added over the coming 12 months.

CEO Martijn Blanken told Capacity last month that the company operates “105,000 route-km of fibre, and 2.9 million km of fibre strands”.

Roberts explained that 400G interfaces answer the call for more data at greater speeds, “with a 75% reduction in patching costs and 75% fewer QSFP [quad small form factor pluggable] pluggable modules required, resulting in simplified service delivery and reduced power consumption. It is the first of many steps we intend to take to invest in further network capacity and reach.”

Exa Infrastructure is the name chosen by US investor I Squared Capital when it took over the infrastructure division of GTT Communications in September for US$2.15 billion, following 11 months of negotiations.

This is the first major investment in the infrastructure to be announced since the deal, though Blanken has talked to Capacity about expanding the company’s footprint.

Roberts, who used to be Interoute’s VP of connectivity products, said: “400G is the next step in high-capacity bandwidth technology, and by introducing it on our network we can now look to make a substantial leap forward in the bandwidth density and service speed we offer.”

Exa said that, as hyperscale network users, large enterprises, telecoms carriers and governments look to use ever-increasing amounts of bandwidth, the jump from 100G to 400G is both a significant step forward in capacity and enables it to offer broader wavelength options to customers.