Verizon’s fiber backbone will soon be able to carry 115TB of data per second

Verizon is currently working to upgrade its metro fiber backbone and network core with 400G capabilities, a move the operator’s VP of Network Planning Kevin Smith said will allow it to carry a staggering amount of traffic.

Delivering a keynote at Fierce’s Optical Networking Summit on Wednesday, Smith noted Verizon’s metro network started with a baseline capability of 100G. It rolled out this capability with Ciena back in 2011 but Smith said the network was designed to be upgradable to 400G from the start.

Verizon dabbled with 200G in 2014 and trialed 400G technology with Juniper and Cisco in 2018. In August of this year, Verizon revealed it had tapped Juniper to help it replace old routers in its network core with new packet routers capable of using 400G technology.

Once the core upgrade is complete, Smith said Verizon’s network will be capable of supporting 115 terabits of data per second. He added the 400G capabilities will allow it to offer “both infrastructure and client-side services, which we will roll out in the very near future.”

Additionally, Smith said the beefed up transport network will support growth on Verizon’s Fios fiber, fixed wireless access and 5G access networks. He noted it has around 6 million Fios customers and stated its fixed wireless users are consuming just as much data as its fiber subscribers. On the cellular side of the house, half of Verizon’s cell towers are now connected to its own fiber assets.

“Owning and operating the fiber that carries customer data from the cell site throughout the rest of the network allows us to meet changing capacity needs rapidly, control upgrades and repairs to fiber cables and electronics immediately, as well as add security, control and reliability into network operations,” Smith said.

The VP also reiterated previous assertions that Verizon isn’t stopping at 400G.

“800 gigabit and 1 terabit per port are on the horizon, allowing us to scale to 230 terabits per second of data at any given time,” he concluded.

Smith’s full presentation can be viewed here.