CenturyLink Puts 100G In Place

November 14th, 2012 by · 17 Comments

CenturyLink (NYSE:CTL, news, filings) isn't waiting any longer, and today jumped on the 100G bandwagon.  They are now offering 100G Ethernet Wavelengths across their US footprint plus Singapore and London.  Further expansion of the upgrade internationally is planned for early 2013.  Connectivity to its cloud offerings over at Savvis are also in the works for Q1.

We haven't heard all that much from CenturyLink on the 100G front, but apparently they've been working on the transition for a couple years now. Since they just closed the Qwest purchase 18 months ago, that means it was probably underway then -- at least in terms of planning etc.  I don't know what gear they are using, anyone?

I'm still listening for more information on the supposed merger rumors between CenturyLink and tw telecom, but lately there have been nothing but echoes.  But neither would seem to have a need to rush anything, regardless, and the most likely case is that it was just one of many conversations the two (and others) have had that didn't come to anything. We'll see.

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Categories: Internet Backbones · Telecom Equipment

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17 Comments So Far


  • Most likely Infinera. This could be the tier 1 they have been talking about.

  • Anonymous says:

    Alcatel-Lucent LambdaXtreme. Rob posted an article about in back in Sept 2009. They were using it with 40G solutions until ALU developed a 100G coherent solution which apparently CTL has now deployed.

    • I had forgotten about that. But three years is a long time, and if it was them they probably wouldn’t have avoided mentioning it in the PR would they? Perhaps it could indeed be the long awaited Tier 1 Infinera win…

  • Anonymous says:

    I hear they currently use the Xtreme stateside only. Across the waters it is the Ciena OME6500.

  • If that is the case then what is the tier 1 win Infinera is claiming in North America? Hard to believe VZ could be that far along.

  • Anonymous says:

    100G didn’t really become commerically available by any vendor until 2011. Back in 2009 it was just a 100G “capable” system but not a 100G “available” system. Most manufactures overhype a system and hope that they have all the pieces in place before anyone actually needs it. For ALU it wasn’t available until they came up with a new card and bay. I’m not sure exactly when that came around but it was something like late 2011 or early 2012. Plus a Tier 1 company like CTL is going to test and certify the equipment to death before they actually deploy it.

    As far as the Infinera question. I would believe CTL is likely the company but my guess is they are probably still beta testing the system now thus why it hasn’t been announced yet.

  • CoCo says:

    Interesting so many are jumping in, would be good to know their trigger point or modeling. A good number of the telcos at the Ethernet Expo said it was still not economically viable over bundling 10G’s together.

    So is it PR or is there a true break point?

  • Those comments are directed at the L2/3 switches & routers, not optical transport. For long reach 100G is costing in for those that have the need for that much capacity.

  • Anonymous says:

    isn’t Level3 using Infinera in a substantial capacity? they’re definitely Tier 1/SFI

  • I would agree they are tier-1 but I don’t believe that the consensus is they are tier-1. More importantly Infinera hasn’t referred to them as tier-1 in the past.

  • Anonymous says:

    what is the definition of Tier 1 these days if not completely settlement free (or in L3s case, 50% of the routing table). I’ve never heard of any other definition of “Tier 1” beyond “doesn’t buy transit from nobody”

    • Anonymous says:

      I seem to have not hit the reply button — apologies for the mess.

    • Actually, this is a different definition of Tier 1, not the one associated with the IP transit world. It’s got to be one of the most abused classification taxonomies in linquistic history. There are Tier 1 carriers – meaning the biggest companies without any actual definition, Tier 1 data centers, meaning something completely different, and Tier 1 networks, which can claim the name even if they don’t match any of the various definitions. Marketing is the bane of accurate categorization in tech and telecom.

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