Sprint is upgrading its Global Sprint Tier 1 IP Network to 40 Gbps using technology sourced from both Cisco and Ciena.

The technology is called Internet Protocol over dense wavelength-division multiplexing, or IPoDWDM. Also using the technology is Comcast.

IPoDWDM at 40 Gbps is predicated on the use of Cisco’s CRS-1 Carrier Routing System, which Sprint has been deploying in its network since 2006. So far, Sprint has CRS-1 routers in more than 25 U.S. cities.

Earlier this year, Sprint completed final testing of the 40 Gbps IPoDWDM technology and enabled their first production 40-Gbps circuit. This converged solution used the CRS-1 with built-in transponders, along with Ciena's CoreStream Agility platform, to transport the wavelength across the fiber optic network.

Sprint began deploying CoreStream, with its 100G-ready scalable capacity and flexible design, in its Tier 1 IP backbone in 2000, and Sprint has more than 1,000 nodes deployed across its network today.

"By delivering 40 Gbps wavelengths over the existing CoreStream network, Sprint is streamlining its operational efficiency by delivering up to 3.2 terabits-per-second (Tbps) of capacity over a minimum number of wavelengths, and without doing costly overbuilds," said Steve Alexander, CTO of Ciena.

The implementation of IPoDWDM drives efficiencies by eliminating client connections between the router and DWDM system, and by increasing bandwidth four times by transmitting 40 Gbps across an existing 10 Gbps DWDM system. The integration of router and DWDM transponder components reduces network complexity and increases the scalability and resiliency of the backbone. IPoDWDM can also position Sprint to rapidly move to higher data rates (e.g., 100 Gbps) without overhauling the network infrastructure.

To date, several 40 Gbps circuits have been deployed, and those are carrying commercial IP-based services, Sprint said.

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