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Verizon emphasizes the optical control plane and 100G

07 June 2012
Verizon has unveiled plans for what it calls “the network of the future”.  The operator says it will build a new optical control plane technology into its global network infrastructure and deploy 100G coherent wavelengths in its metro networks.
To expand its control plane capabilities, Verizon is deploying the 5430 Reconfigurable Switching System from Ciena. This platform features advanced Optical Transport Network (OTN) aggregation and switching software to provide transparent wavelength services with higher bit rates and greater availability than conventional SONET networks, according to the vendor.
Verizon began to deploy a mesh network in 2006, using the additional routes to provide automatic restoration of traffic in the event of multiple breaks or disruptions.  The new control plane functionality will further simplify network operations and enable near real-time provisioning of certain new circuits, the company says.
The control plane has recently emerged as a critical area of differentiation for operators choosing a supplier.  According to a global service provider survey from Infonetics Research published last November, control plane features were named as one of the three most important aspects when evaluating a supplier, surprisingly often ranking ahead of price.
Verizon also confirmed its intention to roll out 100G coherent technology more widely, as it had previously suggested in its presentation at the OFC/NFOEC Executive Forum in March.  The operator says it will start deploying 100G technology in metro networks around the world during the first half of 2013.
Interestingly, Verizon plans to use dual-polarization quadrature phase-shift keying (DP-QPSK) modulation with coherent detection – the technology of choice for long-haul networks – rather than one of the direct-detection alternatives that have been developed for the metro market (see Metro 100G direct detection gains momentum). This represents a second helping of good news for Ciena, which is Verizon’s primary supplier of 100G technology.
"By combining our expanded control plane capabilities with extended 100G technology, Verizon is building the network of the future," said Ihab Tarazi, vice president of global IP and transport planning and technology for Verizon. "It's no longer about miles and scope. It's about leveraging strategies that further enable us to deliver the promise of cloud-based and mobility-enabled industry solutions."
By Pauline Rigby