q has made its 100G move, they will be upgrading their network to 100G with gear from Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE:ALU, news, filings). Of course, only bits and pieces of 100G gear are actually ready yet from any provider, but Qwest will start with the 100G ethernet router interface announced earlier this summer. The 100G portion of the ultra-longhaul DWDM gear will no doubt come online when it is ready. This is a nice win for Alcatel-Lucent, certainly giving its 100G efforts an early boost.
I was somewhat surprised that Qwest took the plunge so early, as they are comparatively fiber-rich and haven't seemed pressured by bandwidth needs lately. They *could* have waited for the economics of 100G to improve with scale over the next year or two by holding out with 10G or 40G gear. That implies that perhaps 100G pricing is going to be more competitive than we might have thought, or that the cost savings and improved performance from reduced network complexity are worth it, or that customers are demanding it. Or it may simply mean that Qwest is starting early but planning to take it slowly depending on how quickly Alcatel-Lucent's 100G technology fills out.
Is this the beginning of the 100G rollout, or just the beginning of the PR blitz about the 100G rollout that will really begin in earnest next year?