40-Channel DWDM System Delivering 100 Gb/s of Capacity

In a major technological advancement, Sprint today announced that it has installed optical wavelength division multiplexing technology from industry leader Ciena Corporation that will increase the capacity of Sprint's nationwide, all-digital fiber-optic network by a stunning 1,600 percent.

The deployment of Ciena's MultiWaveTM 1600 system achieves significant increases in network capacity without the installation of more fiber-optic cable. It paves the way for a new wave of broadband services today's business customers demand – and Sprint plans to deliver.

"We selected the Ciena MultiWaveTM system because it will allow us to increase the capacity of various routes within our existing network by 16 times without the need for additional fiber," said Marty Kaplan, senior vice president and chief technology officer for Sprint. "The Ciena solution protects our existing investment and allows us to incrementally expand the transmission capacity of our network as we deliver new broadband services to our customers."

"Our system meets the need for more bandwidth as well as provides Sprint with the additional capability of enhancing their installed plant," said Pat Nettles, president and chief executive officer for Ciena. "We are leaders in 16-channel WDM and believe Sprint will benefit significantly from this technology."

Ciena's system has been deployed along a 200 mile route in the Midwest and is being installed in other key routes throughout Sprint's network. Sprint currently has in service 4- and 8-window WDM equipment on its network.

The 16-window WDM system will complement Sprint's leadership in SONET technology. Currently, Sprint is the only long-distance carrier with a four-fiber, bi-directional, line-switching ring topology (four-fiber, BLSR) installed from coast-to-coast, and from border-to-border. Four-fiber BLSR allows customers on Sprint's SONET network to survive network outages and fiber cuts in milliseconds – literally the blink of an eye. Sprint anticipates all its customers to be on its SONET network by the end of 1998 – again, an industry first.

Ciena Corporation develops, manufactures and markets high-capacity fiber optic transmission systems for public networks. These systems unlock fiber bandwidth, improve network reliability and significantly reduce the cost of providing new broadband services. Ciena is providing real-life solutions today to combat the emerging bandwidth and capacity needs long-distance carriers will be faced with tomorrow.

Sprint is a global communications company – at the forefront in integrating long distance, local and wireless communications services, and the world's largest carrier of Internet traffic. Sprint built and operates the United States' only nationwide all-digital, fiber-optic network and is the leader in advanced data communications services. Sprint has $12.8 billion in annual revenues and serves more than 15 million businesses and residential customers.

About Ciena
Ciena is the network specialist. We collaborate with customers worldwide to unlock the strategic potential of their networks and fundamentally change the way they compete. With focused innovation, Ciena brings together the reliability and capacity of optical networking with the flexibility and economics of Ethernet, unified by a software suite that delivers the industry’s leading network automation. We routinely post recent news, financial results and other important announcements and information about Ciena on our website. For more information, visit http://www.ciena.com/.