In the effort to reach 100Gps speeds, the lions share of the media coverage goes to the DWDM systems with companies like Ciena (NASDAQ:CIEN, news, filings) and Infinera (NASDAQ:INFN, news, filings) demonstrating 100G transmissions over a few hundred miles, etc. However, that’s really only going to be useful if you have something to plug it into on each end. Therefore, today’s announcement by Juniper Networks (NASDAQ:JNPR, news, filings) is of equivalent importance. Juniper introduced a 100GE interface to its T1600 router, becoming the first to commercially offer such a product.
It took many years for 10G and 40G to really catch on, but the story of 100G looks like it may be different. Because the commercial availability and viability of 100G technologies is lagging the market’s desire to buy them, first mover advantage is going to be much more important this time around. Verizon (NYSE:VZ, news, filings) is out there with a bullwhip demanding 100G ASAP or else, and you can bet AT&T (NYSE:T, news, filings) and other incumbents have similar levels of interest. I doubt very much if Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO, news, filings) is far behind here though, and Juniper’s announcement may be matched in a matter of weeks and almost surely by the end of the summer.
The problem is one of complexity and scaling. 10G isn’t enough anymore because it is quickly becoming too small a pipe relative to the flow being handled. When one has to manage too many pipes, operational expenses don’t scale properly as traffic grows. According to Light Reading, the cost of per bit 100G will be just barely below that of 10G, and that is very encouraging. That’s better than 40G even now, and when you add in the savings from network simplification and future scaling, it looks like 100G will be worth buying rather soon after it is introduced.
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