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Infonetics 40G/100G wavelength survey indicates “100G is unstoppable”


January 16, 2012
By Alyssa Dalton

January 16, 2012 – A new study from market researcher Infonetics Research details the plans of operators transitioning their optical transmission and switching equipment to higher speed wavelengths — 40 Gigabits per second (40G) and/or 100 Gigabits per second (100G) — using WDM to transport SONET/SDH, OTN, and Ethernet network traffic.

The survey asked operators about their reasons for installing 40G and 100G technology, plans for coherent detection technology, strategies for deploying 40G and 100G in existing optical systems and fibers (brownfield applications) and to new equipment installations on unused fiber (greenfield applications), and critical vendor selection criteria.

For the report, 40G/100G Wavelength Deployment Strategies: Global Service Provider Survey, Infonetics analysts interviewed 21 incumbent service providers, competitive operators, and mobile operators with 40G and/or 100G wavelengths installed in their optical transport networks or plans to install by 2013. The respondents are from North America, EMEA, Asia Pacific, and CALA and together represent a statistically significant 28% of worldwide telecom carrier revenue and capex.

40G/100G Wavelength survey highlights:

• The top three reasons operators are deploying higher-speed 40G/100G optical transport equipment are to lower the cost per bit for new wavelengths, the superior dispersion performance of coherent optics, and to lower incremental common equipment costs as a result of increased spectral efficiency.
• Most respondents indicate 40G is only a short-term solution and will move the majority of installations to 100G once those products reach widespread availability.
• The decline of 10G will begin as greenfield regional and long-haul networks shift to all-coherent architectures that lack dispersion compensation.
• Non-coherent 100G isn’t yet viewed as an important technology.
• Colourless and directionless ROADMs and OTN switching are important components of greenfield builds; gridless and contentionless ROADMs much less so.

“To take measure of the coming optical reboot, we significantly changed the focus of our latest 40G/100G survey from previous years, and aimed to gain insight into the trends and differences in deployment in existing brownfield networks versus new greenfield builds,” noted Andrew Schmitt, directing analyst for optical at Infonetics Research and author of the survey. “We discovered that there is a strong carrier preference for 100G transport in both brownfield and greenfield installations. Carriers plan to use both 40G and 100G to the same degree in existing brownfield networks, and clearly favor 100G for new greenfield builds. 100G looks unstoppable.”