Verizon says it is now ready to take the plunge. In another demonstration run on 1,520km of fiber north of Dallas, the telecommunications giant teamed with Finisar, NEC and Juniper put together the most complete 100Gps trial to date. Rather than just test a piece at a time, this demo sent video traffic via a 100Gbps interface to Juniper T1600, Finisar 100G CFP optical transceiver modules, and an NEC SpectralWave DWDM system equipped with 100G real-time coherent transponders. Wow, that was a jargon filled sentence - basically each step of the way was the real 100G deal. No substitutes, tricks, or emulations were involved.
While not all this gear is available commercially yet, it will be soon. Verizon expects that by the end of the year there will be sufficient product depth amongst equipment makers to support real network deployments and it intends to do just that. Of course, they already deployed 100G DWDM on a live route over in Europe, but that was a specialized case. Now all the pieces are coming together at last, after several years of hard work by researchers across the industry. No doubt we will see a parade of similar demonstrations this spring from other providers.
So what happens to 40G now? I suppose that depends on the economics. We are now at the point where we know 100G is technologically ready for prime time, but is it economically ready? It seems unlikely that there will be a huge rush for the first gear to hit the market - it took years for 10G to really take hold, and 40G is still fighting for that level of acceptance. But I suspect that 100G will have an easier time of it and 40G will fade into the background rather quickly now. The industry has been looking forward to this for a long time.
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