With >25,000 Ciena WaveLogic 5 Extreme (WL5e) 800G modems shipped for deployment around the world in just 18 months, significant shifts across global optical infrastructure have already started to take place.  So far, 800G technology has been adopted across more than 35 countries by 140 unique operators, impacting networks worldwide. Are you curious as to how network providers are taking advantage of 800G to enhance and transform their business?

Join me on an 800G whirlwind world tour that will reveal some common, and important, themes: commercialization of new innovative service offerings and improved end customer experiences, all while achieving sustainability and cost reduction goals.  

To get us started take a look at this map which depicts the total unique WL5e customers in their principal regions around the world.

WL5e_ Animated Map_Jan22

First stop: Europe

Rolling out a network designed for the future in the UK

CityFibre is using WL5e 800G technology to build a highly available, fully scalable Full Fibre digital infrastructure in the UK that will reach up to 8 million premises. The Full Fibre network will support virtually unlimited data transfer requirements for the future enabling a fully automated, cloud-based platform with open access API integration.  CityFibre has already successfully deployed its first 800Gb/s backbone wavelength that serves 23 cities and towns, connecting six ‘super core’ sites of Leicester, Peterborough, Cambridge, London, Milton Keynes and Northampton. But that is only the beginning. CityFibre is swiftly rolling out two additional rings with the same enhanced core capacity between Manchester, Leeds, Leicester, Bristol, Coventry and London. And the network rollout includes an additional 90 locations due to be added before the end of 2023.

Delivering richer customer experiences while achieving sustainable outcomes in France and Italy

Iliad, an innovative telco serving 43 million subscribers across multiple countries, is the first provider to offer high-capacity connectivity at 800Gb/s speeds in both France and Italy. Iliad is expanding its network in both counties with Ciena’s WL5e, building new routes as well as upgrading its existing installed base with new high-capacity links.  What are the benefits? Iliad is now connecting long distance locations with 400Gb/s – 600Gb/s wavelength speeds and deploying 800 Gb/s wavelengths for shorter links. The new technology allows for 4 to 8 times the amount of data throughput for each wavelength deployed, and a whopping increase of 75 - 160% more capacity they can transport over each fiber. These efficiency gains mean that Iliad is also meeting demands from a green perspective, with massive reduction in both footprint and energy consumption.

Enhancing Lambda Connect offering in Germany and beyond with fourfold increase in speed

Deutsche Telekom Global Carrier has advanced its Lambda Connect offering and commercially launched 400GE service for its customers, using Ciena WL5e to enable a leap from 100GE to 400GE services anywhere on its deployed network infrastructure. This service is designed to meet the demands for high capacity, speed and scale necessitated by networks to handle exponentially increasing volumes of data and content.

Quote from Deutsche Telekom Global Business and Global Carrier

Connecting the Nordics to key European digital hubs

To address surging demands for high-growth applications while also meeting low carbon footprint goals, global cloud and content providers are increasingly building new data centers in Norway and Denmark. Altibox Carrier is using Ciena WL5e to support new high bandwidth routes that connect these data centers to key digital hubs across Europe, including large cities such as Amsterdam, Brussels, London and Hamburg. With its new pan-European network, Altibox Carrier will be better positioned to grow its wholesale business by providing new service offerings and higher-capacity connectivity to its customers.  An important value for Altibox Carrier was the openness of Ciena’s coherent optical solution which offers network operators complete freedom in choice of technology and consumption models.

Quote from Altibox

Commercializing long distance 400GE connectivity in Poland

Leveraging WL5e 800G, T‑Mobile Polska will offer a new long-distance 400 Gigabit Ethernet (400GbE) service to its enterprise, content provider, and wholesale customers, to address exponential traffic growth brought on by omnipresent remote work, learning, and entertainment. Ciena’s WL5e will be used to provide high-capacity 500Gbps–800Gbps wavelength connectivity, low latency, and reliability, making it possible to transport services such as 5G, cloud, and data center interconnect (DCI) at a lower cost per bit.

Bringing 800Gb/s transmission speeds to the Middle East

Setting the scene for a more digitally connected society, Oman Telecommunications Company (Omantel), is using WL5e to connect data centres, submarine cable landing stations and telecom exchanges in various regions across the Oman Sultanate in order to accommodate the rapid increase in network traffic. Marking the first rollout of 800Gbps wavelengths in the MENA region, Omantel is using the technology to support the increasing digital needs of businesses and consumers, while supporting hyperscalers’ growing network demands with 400GE connectivity. This deployment underpins the Oman Vision 2040 which promotes economic diversification with a focus on technology, knowledge and innovation.

Delivering the next generation of services with unparalleled end user experience across both Europe and the Asia Pacific regions

Colt Technology Services is offering new 400GE Wave and Private Wave services leveraging WL5e, making it the first telco to offer customers access to 400GE services across both Europe and the Asia Pacific regions, and the first telco offering the service in Hong Kong and Singapore.

Quote from Colt

Delivering 800Gb/s Data Center Interconnect in Japan

NTT Com lays claim to being the first service provider in Japan to offer 800Gb/s wavelength connectivity, powered by Ciena WL5e, for Data Center Interconnect (DCI) applications to address rapid growth of 5G, gaming and cloud services.

NTT Com Quote

Bringing new digital services to India

Bharti Airtel is leveraging WL5e to almost triple fiber capacity, enabling faster deployment of exceptional services to webscale, large enterprise, government, and small/medium business customers. Deploying 600Gb/s and 800Gb/s wavelengths over a C&L-band line system in India’s largest metros – Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, and Kolkata – allows Airtel to fast-track 5G and support high-growth cloud applications while lowering the cost per bit.

Lightstorm Telecom Ventures (LTV), an independent and carrier-neutral infrastructure provider in India, serves the country’s OTT, data center and cloud providers. LTV is leveraging WL5e to transform its metro and long-distance network with higher capacity links, up to 800Gb/s, to equip its customers with unmatched bandwidth speeds. LTV’s network covers more than 10,000 kilometers and 60 data centers in five cities, including Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi and Hyderabad, as well as strategic subsea cable landing stations providing high-capacity connectivity to Mumbai and Chennai.

Connecting Australasia and the US West Coast with higher bandwidth speeds

Southern Cross currently owns and operates a 28,900km Trans-Pacific submarine cable network connecting Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Hawaii to the mainland United States, with plans to expand the network with the new NEXT system to over 43,000km in 2022. With widescale deployments of WL5e 800G since 2020, Southern Cross is providing their customers with an end-to-end connectivity solution that is faster, uses less space and power, and delivers up to 50 percent more wavelength capacity than previous technologies.

Changing the game in long haul DCI in Mexico

Marcatel, a telecommunications carrier based in Mexico, is leveraging Ciena’s WL5e 800G to support a new network connecting Querétaro, Mexico, to McAllen, Texas. The network, which serves content delivery providers and wholesale carriers, allows Marcatel to offer low-latency, high-capacity data center interconnect (DCI) services at speeds up to 600Gbps across long distances to meet an ever-growing demand for bandwidth-hungry video, data, and cloud-based content.

Marcatel Quote

Building a future proof national US network with open connectivity, modularity, and software control

Windstream is leveraging WL5e 800G to build its National Converged Optical Network (NCON) and meet customers’ surging bandwidth demands driven by remote work and learning applications, cloud computing and video streaming. Windstream’s NCON will connect cities across its nationwide network, providing critical connectivity essential to the digital economy.

Windstream Quote

Providing advanced capabilities in support of research and academic collaborations across the US

Internet2, a nonprofit, member-driven advanced technology community founded by the United States’ leading higher education institutions, is leveraging WL5e for its Next Generation Infrastructure (NGI) program, that provides increased capacity, on-demand capabilities, network scalability, and a lower carbon footprint to support academic and research collaborations.  With Ciena 800G technology, Internet2 is already providing high speed 400GE connectivity between cities using 600Gb/s – 800Gb/s wavelengths.

Rolling out commercial 400G wave services across Canada

We have reached the other end of the globe – now in Canada, fitting as this is where WL5e was developed. Here, Bell Canada is offering commercial 400G wavelength services across its backbone network using Ciena’s WL5e, to deliver the significantly increased connectivity speeds and capacity required by the largest cloud and data centre providers, while optimizing network performance and energy efficiency. Using the new technology, Bell Canada is able to increase fibre capacity using less network hardware and more automation to deliver 4x the data speed and 50% more capacity per wavelength.

Souvenirs from the Tour

There you have it – some examples of how providers around the globe are evolving their networks and enhancing their business using Ciena 800G technology:  enabling new services, providing new connectivity experiences, and building more sustainable networks. 800G - from an idea, to whiteboard equations, to DSP chip and high bandwidth electro-optic introduction, to integration testing, to business and network transformation globally. It is humbling and inspiring to see this unfold firsthand.  I am looking forward to sharing the journey of the next new development in optical networking. “A la prochaine!”

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