This article was authored by Dylan Bushell-Embling, and was originally posted on telecomasia.net.
Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has commenced a project to deploy a 100G optical network to support its online platforms, and has contracted ZTE for the rollout.
The companies revealed plans for a staged deployment of an optical network which, once completed, “will carry most of Alibaba’s data traffic.”
The first stage of the rollout will cover four metro area networks in Hangzhou, Tianjin and Beijing.
The networks will be used for Alibaba's online platforms including Alibaba.com, Taobao Marketplace, online payment service Alipay, Alibaba Cloud Computing and China Yahoo.
Alibaba's decision to build its own 100G network comes in the wake of a public brawl between mobile operators and online giant Tencent over whether OTT service providers should be required to pay for traffic sent over operators' networks. While this debate centered on mobile messaging services, not online commerce, the timing is still interesting.
For ZTE, the deal marks another optical coup, a week after Ovum estimated that the vendor overtook Alcatel-Lucent in Q1 to become the second-largest ON vendor behind Huawei.
ZTE said its 100G products specifically have been deployed in around 30 trial and commercial networks worldwide.
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