Global operators are continuing to transition 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.

Infonetics Research analysts interviewed more than 20 global 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, but they changed their focus this time around.

“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,” notes Andrew Schmitt, Infonetics’ directing analyst/Optical and author of its most recent 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.”

Here are some highlights from the 40G/100G survey:

>> 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 it 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.
>> Colorless and directionless ROADMs and OTN switching are important components of greenfield builds; gridless and contentionless ROADMs much less so.

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