In another move that belies the widespread expectation of a quick Icahn sale, XO Holdings (news, filings) this morning said it has taken the 100G plunge with a nationwide deployment. The company says it is the first network operator to deploy the technology nationally, as other early adopters have taken a more piecemeal approach.
So XO now has 96x100G available per fiber via coherent optical gear from Nokia Siemens Networks, with the ability to scale to 400G later on. They'll use the larger pipes to satisfy bandwidth demand, especially from wholesale buyers without US fiber that are starting to purchase 100G wavelengths to boost capacity of their networks.
The appearance of NSN gear here is a bit of a surprise, as it has been Infinera that has been powering XO's longhaul network since they first lit that fiber not so many years back. They were one of Infinera's earliest testers for 100G, and so I was rather expecting to see XO continue on that path. But perhaps the DTN-X came too late, giving NSN a chance to displace them.
Yesterday XO's owner, billionaire Carl Icahn, was linked to a bid for the troubled CLEC Broadview Networks. As he would hardly try to purchase such an asset without planning to consolidate it with XO, it suggests that his plans for the company have shifted back to offense. Today's 100G move by XO seems to support that hypothesis.
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