AT&T said it has completed its transition of its backbone to 40 Gbps IP/MPLS. The company’s entire 80,000-plus mile network is now a full-mesh optical network running at OC-768 speeds.
AT&T initiated the upgrade in the latter half of 2006.
Nearly everyone considers 40 Gbps an intermediary step toward 100 Gbps, and AT&T is no different. The company is already planning its next upgrade to that speed, and like Verizon, Comcast and many other communications companies, it has been working on the requisite technology.
Working with NEC and Corning, AT&T recently completed a successful test demonstrating data transmission at 114 Gbps over each of 161 separate wavelength channels on a single optical fiber. That was good for a total capacity of 17 Tbps over 622 kilometers.
The technology is going to require a few years of R&D before being commercialized, however.
Still, the 40 Gbps backbone should have plenty of capacity to serve in the meantime, supporting all AT&T Internet and IP services – including, the company said, carrying traffic ranging from consumer broadband to wireless data to mission-critical enterprise applications, such as unified communications, on-demand content services and utility computing. The network also carries substantial Internet traffic from around the world.
The backbone is designed and managed for maximum resiliency in the event of a natural or man-made disruption, including the ability to continue transport even if any single network link or node is disrupted.
The 10 Gigabit (10G) market is increasing, and it’s on target to hit nearly $9.5 billion worldwide in 2008, according to a new report from Infonetics Research (story here).
Infonetics’ report also found that 40G is ramping rapidly, and that 100G should begin soon and could take off by 2013.
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