If you needed another leading indicator that 400G is the next big thing in optical networks, look no further than the OFC ’18 conference recently held in San Diego.  The show was abuzz with vendor plans for new technologies that squeeze more bandwidth than ever down an optical channel.  These 400G-capable coherent solutions offer better system performance and tunable capacity from 100G to 400G per wavelength. 

Why does this matter? This means that network providers can double channel capacity across applications and extend the life of their fiber investments: 200G becomes the new currency for capacity in long haul, 300G for 1000km distances, and 400G for short reach applications.

For the Ciena team, OFC also served as a venue to celebrate some of our recent 400G customer activities in their live networks.  As the first vendor to offer 400G-capable solutions with WaveLogic Ai, and with roughly 20 customers already deploying our technology, it is exciting to see that the adoption of 400G solutions is ramping up almost three times faster than 100G technology did.

Our customers are leading the way and showing the world that 400G isn’t just the stuff of futuristic fables – 400G is here, it is already deployed and it’s enabling innovation and operational efficiencies in applications like data center interconnect (DCI), core infrastructure and R&E networks where huge data loads are already driving this need. But don’t just take our word for it – here’s what our customers have to say:

unitymedia quote on Ciena WaveLogic Ai


“We need to evolve as fast as our customers’ appetite for high bandwidth applications and 400G enables us to do that. Ciena’s WaveLogic Ai ensures that our network provides sufficient capacity to support the estimated residential, B2B and video traffic demands. Another benefit is that our data center networks now operate more efficiently, whilst delivering superior connectivity, entertainment and personalizedexperiences to our customers.”

-          Felix Baldamus, Network Engineer, Unitymedia and Dieter Vorbeck, Senior Vice President of Technology, Unitymedia


Jeremy Sharp from Jisc quote

Glenn Wellbrock from Verizon quote


“With increasing demand for high-bandwidth applications and services like video streaming, virtual reality and cloud computing in use today, as well as of those we haven’t even dreamed of yet, it is important that we continue to push the boundaries of what is possible. Our recent 400G field trial in Dallas with Ciena is another example of Verizon’s relentless focus on building networks people want and need well into thefuture.”

-          Glenn Wellbrock, Director of Optical Transport Network Architecture, Design & Planning, Verizon


Chris Meissner from Telstra quote

Tony Baird from vodafone quote

“The meteoric rise of online video streaming, gaming and cloud computing has meant Kiwis are chomping through data at rates we’ve never seen before. Our most recent technology deployment with Ciena has delivered some of the most advanced technology in Vodafone New Zealand’s network, capable of carrying 44 x 400 gigabits of capacity across a single fibre pair. We partnered with Ciena to ensure our transport network is in great shape for today and ready for the future – for us it is an important step on the roadmap to 5G and for a stack of other exciting innovations across New Zealand’s sprawling fibre and high-speed wireless networks.”

-          Tony Baird, Technology Director, Vodafone New Zealand


With our 400G technology, Ciena is resetting performance benchmarks for today’s networks and forging a path for more adaptive networks that provide greater scale, automation and intelligence. Keep watching this space to see what’s next.