Igniting the 100G to 400G Service Evolution

By: Michael C. Morey

With the introduction of 4G and the smartphone, the popularity of the mobile Internet has grown exponentially. The demand for bandwidth has been spurred by applications such as video streaming, video calls, real-time mapping, and cloud computing and storage. Data consumption has not only increased for everyday consumers but also on a grand corporate scale, affecting the financial sector, government entities, healthcare and numerous other industries. This growth is also spurred by advancements such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and other infant technologies.

This need for more bandwidth is driving a requirement for reliable high-capacity, high-performance scalable networks to move towards 400G services—providing rapid optical backbone network support for all 10G and 100G customer service scenarios on a carrier’s network.

What is behind this evolution to 400G services? There are three primary areas of demand causing service providers, data centers and wireless carriers to move toward 400G services over their networks:

  1. Increasing demand for network reliability and scalability
  2. Wireless carriers’ need for 1G to 10G macrocell connections
  3. Interconnection of multiple pipe networks to support capacities over 100G

Rapid 400G optical network support allows carriers to respond seamlessly to bursts of high traffic and mobile video streaming while also supporting the day-to-day bandwidth demands of the vibrant business enterprise. The 400G evolution promises to alleviate stress on backbone infrastructure systems to provide ample headroom for sudden spikes during peak operation.

A 400G service to support 100G customer circuits

The wireline-to-wireless evolution is driving changes to network upgrades and how infrastructure is designed to be scalable and reliable, especially in regard to improving existing infrastructure. While carriers work to meet consumer demand for high-speed connectivity, transport providers and fiber network owners are engaged in infrastructure upgrades to support this evolution. Customers looking for 100G circuits need to know if their service provider has enough backbone capacity to support that level of service. Service providers must utilize a 400G channel to provide reliable, affordable 100G services. The move from 100G to 400G services is a matter of densifying the capacity on a preexisting network to increase transport capacity while decreasing customer circuit cost.  

As the functionality of wireless devices’ connectivity increases—such as in the proliferation of hand-held, wearable, in-home and tablet devices—wireless providers are responding to this massive growth in bandwidth usage with the deployment of 5G and small cell technologies. Multiple macrocell and small cell towers can be found in the same geographic area, all to support the demand for bandwidth. As a result, many wireless carriers now design for 1G and 10G connectivity when they are looking to deploy towers. This demand drives network providers to evolve their backbone services to a more densified platform such as 400G.


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