Verizon pushes 800 Gbps of data across single wavelength of fiber

Working in tandem with Ciena and Juniper Networks, Verizon recently completed a test that pushed 800 Gbps of data across a single fiber wavelength.

Verizon's 800G trial on its live fiber network was notable because it showed equipment interoperability from two different vendors. The trial proved the capability to quadruple the typical capacity that's normally carried on a wavelength.

While 5G holds the promise of connecting billions of devices while moving terabytes of data, it needs advanced fiber optic transport on the backend in order to serve new applications such as video streaming, virtual reality, cloud computing, machine learning and artificial intelligence.

The test traffic was transmitted between two Juniper Networks QFX 5220 packet platforms across two Ciena 6500 platforms powered by Ciena's WaveLogic 5 Extreme (WL5e) coherent optics, which was announced early last year.

“In the past, we needed to combine multiple wavelengths to achieve 800 Gbps capacity,” said Kevin Smith, vice president of technology and planning for Verizon, in a statement. “Now, with the new optics configuration from Ciena and Juniper Networks on our fiber network, we are advancing our connecting layer of fiber to prepare for the explosion of data we know will come along with 5G’s transformational impact on industries and consumers. And being the only provider in the industry with that capacity on a single wavelength allows us to deliver the service at a much lower cost per bit.”

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Using coherent optics and gear from Juniper and Ciena signals a move toward more lower cost, software-driven and automated networks with tunable capacity from 200 Gbps to 800 Gbps per wavelength, which enables service providers like Verizon to maximize their efficiencies and optimize capacity across any distance in order to dynamically adjust to traffic demands on the fly from customers.

“As network traffic continues to grow sharply, driven by video and other new 5G uses cases, it’s imperative for communications service providers and infrastructure vendors to work closely together for rapid innovation. New 400GbE packet routers and 800G coherent optical systems help drive down the cost per bit with improved scale and density. We’re excited to have played a role in this successful trial and look forward to help deliver new, high-bandwidth services to end-users," said Juniper Networks' Sally Bament, vice president, cloud and service provider marketing, in a statement.

Verizon will start deploying its new optical configuration with Ciena and Juniper on its fiber network in the second half of this year.

RELATED: Ciena, Internet2 and Juniper boot up 400GE long haul link between Chicago and Denver

Last year, Ciena, Internet2 and Juniper Networks announced they had provisioned live traffic over a 1,367-mile circuit using a single 400-gigabit Ethernet link. The 400G path used a new open line system capable of 400G and 800G wavelengths that Internet2, Ciena and CenturyLink are deploying as the first segments of Internet2's next generation infrastructure initiative.