Alcatel-Lucent expands 100G leadership further with new innovations

Alcatel-Lucent today announced a major advance to its global leadership in 100G optical networking by introducing a breakthrough in single-carrier coherent technology that will extend optical signals over distances far greater than has been possible before, even over poor quality fiber. This latest addition to the company’s portfolio is designed to enhance the ability of communications service providers to address exploding demand for high-bandwidth services like video and fixed and mobile broadband.

Alcatel-Lucent is to offer a new premium card, the 100G eXtended Reach (XR), which employs techniques developed at Bell Labs to monitor and maintain the quality of optical signals. The 100G XR card will be the first solution on the market capable of substantially extending the range, performance and capacity of 100G optical networks, while cutting building and operating costs.

This premium card will be offered on the Alcatel-Lucent 1830 Photonic Service Switch (PSS), the centrepiece of the company’s optical transport portfolio. The Alcatel-Lucent 100G XR marks a substantial improvement for service providers with specific distance and capacity requirements, being able to transmit a combination of 10G, 40G and 100G rates on different wavelengths of an optical fiber for up to 2000 kilometers and beyond, providing up to 30 percent increase in reach. Alcatel-Lucent’s solution also offers exceptional performance over poor quality fiber giving service providers the ability to deploy 100G anywhere they want, when they want it, and at a substantial cost savings.

One of the first customers of the 1830 PSS is Australia’s Nextgen Networks. Michael Ackland, the company’s Strategic Development Manager said: “We at Nextgen Networks have deployed the 1830 PSS platform on the Commonwealth Government’s Regional Backhaul Blackspots Program, and were the first to successfully demonstrate 100G coherent optical DWDM & IP in Asia on the Broken Hill link. The ability to deploy 10/40/100G on the same platform is of uppermost importance to us as it will keep our network flexible. We are looking forward to the enhanced 100G from Alcatel-Lucent to keep Nextgen Networks data transport network the most advanced and innovative in this region.”

Delivering enormous bandwidth supporting 100G rates on each wavelength on an optical fiber, the 1830 PSS can support the transfer of over 100,000 MP3 files in 60 seconds or to stream 15,000 HDTV channels concurrently. To meet the ever-growing demand for such services and applications, operators need to be able to continually increase bandwidth, while maintaining exceptional transmission quality and keeping costs in check. A key part of Alcatel-Lucent’s answer to this challenge is allowing its customers to deploy far fewer complex components in their network by reducing the need for regeneration, which is a costly method currently used to extend the reach of optical communications links. Reducing this need offers very substantial cost savings and further decreases the cost to deliver a bit of data.

Eve Griliches, a leading expert on optical networking with ACG Research said: “Sheer bandwidth was one of the early drivers for 100G, and still is today. The need for spectral efficiency and increasing distance is now coupled with the need for more flexible and cost effective optical transmission networks. This will widen the addressable market and give service providers more options. It will also lead to increasing adoption and ultimately, better economics for 100G. Alcatel-Lucent’s 100G enhancement is a positive step towards enabling the service provider community to move in this direction.”

James Watt, President of Alcatel-Lucent’s Optics Division, said: “We currently have more than 45 customers using our current 100G single carrier, coherent optical solution and we’ve used this experience to create a premium offering with improved performance, well before our competitors have even delivered their first-generation product. We are encouraging the acceleration of 100G by alleviating the distance and underlying fiber barriers and allowing any service provider in the world to deploy 100G precisely where they need it, with no trade off in capacity.”

The 100G optical solution on the 1830 PSS is a single-carrier coherent system, which means it uses a single carrier wavelength to transmit the data down a fiber resulting in higher bandwidth, better performance and lower cost when compared to dual carrier solutions. Alcatel-Lucent’s 100G single carrier coherent solution features an electro-optics engine which was developed based on innovations from Bell Labs, the company’s R&D arm. This electro-optics engine, which features an in-house developed silicon chipset and field-proven signal processing algorithms, is designed with fewer components and less complexity than competing products, delivering substantial benefits in terms of performance, as well as significant space and power savings.