CityFibre teams with Ciena for first 800Gbps backbone ring

24 November 2021 | Saf Malik

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CityFibre has teamed with Ciena to successfully deploy its first 800GBpbs backbone wavelength that will reach up to eight million homes in the UK.

The initial 800Gbps wavelength will serve 23 cities and towns and connects sic ‘super core’ sites in Leicester, Peterborough, Cambridge, Northampton, Milton Keynes and London.

By the end of 2021, two further rings will be added, providing the same enhanced core capacity between Manchester, Leeds, Leicester, Bristol, Coventry and London.

An additional 90 locations are expected to be added before the end of 2023, and this is the first phase of a national, multi-terabit Dense Wave Division Multiplexing (DWDM) network deployment. Once complete, City Fire will own and operate a fully scalable backbone enabled by Ciena’s WaveLogic 5, which has just been deployed in Egypt.

David Tomalin, CTO at CityFibre, said: “A significant challenge for service providers today is securing scale and capability while constrained by a lack of diverse alternate national infrastructure and poor SLAs across the national backbone networks that aggregate locally delivered consumer services.

“This investment will create a superior, physically diverse network alternative, whilst raising the service experience bar for our industry.

CityFibre adds that its priority for this investment is to support the high-quality, efficient delivery of broadband, Ethernet and IP services across a £4 billion investment programme which includes the scaling of a new National Access product that was launched earlier this month.

In addition to boosting regional aggregation capabilities, the use of CDC optical technology will enable the company to build a network that allows open access, high bandwidth Ethernet and wavelength services of up to 400Gbps.

Jamie Jefferies, vice president and general manager at Ciena said: “Deploying Ciena’s coherent optic technology at scale will help CityFibre to provide market-leading digital services across the UK.

“CityFibre has been tremendous to work with and our shared determination has allowed for us to move from design to delivery of this 800Gbps network in record time.

“CityFibre and its customers will benefit from the scalability and adaptability its network will possess, in particular, because Ciena’s intelligent RLS CDC configuration leverages a modern modular software design that allows for open networking and maximum programmability. We look forward to a continued collaboration in the future.”