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2011-07-14 The 100 Gigabit era is approaching fast as carriers ‘reboot’ their optical networks

BOSTON METRO, MASSACHUSETTS, July 14, 2011—A new whitepaper published by market research firm Infonetics Research examines the current shift taking place in the optical network space as service providers seek to transform their network architectures to handle exponentially growing network traffic.

The 10-page white paper, The Fast Approaching 100G Era, which can be downloaded at, outlines what Infonetics analyst Andrew Schmitt calls “the optical reboot” – the network transformation efforts underway that include increasing bit rates from 10 Gigabit to 40 Gigabit and 100 Gigabit, coherent optics for better spectral efficiency, widespread use of OTN (optical transport network) switching to improve network efficiency and resiliency, ROADMs (reconfigurable optical add-drop multiplexers) to increase optical flexibility, and eventually Ethernet/MPLS as a circuit replacement for traditional SONET/SDH.

Infonetics’ paper asserts that 100G technology will grow at a faster rate than 40G did in its first years of introduction, starting in earnest in early 2013. This could be accelerated if China, which claims 50% of 40G ports shipped today, moves to 100G faster than expected.

 “It is clear that 40 Gigabit technology will be squeezed by cost-competitive 100 Gigabit solutions from above, and by low-cost tunable XFP solutions from below. Carriers place a greater premium on spectral efficiency and operational costs, and they’re showing a willingness to adopt higher speed technologies at prices above historical thresholds. When 100G coherent component technology prices come down to not more than twice that of 40G technology, we’ll see a rapid switchover to 100G transmission when it becomes widely available in 2013,” expects Andrew Schmitt, directing analyst for optical at Infonetics Research and author of the whitepaper.

Schmitt adds, “Once this transition is underway, vendors will differentiate themselves not just by the availability of 100G WDM (wavelength division multiplexing) technology, but by the ability to tame these fat pipes with effective switching technology, be it OTN switching or full-blown IP/MPLS switching.”


  • Optical Networks: A Refresh Is Due
  • The 2000s Were a Time of Incremental Change...
  • ...Leading to the Optical Reboot with ROADMs, OTN, Ethernet, and Coherent Optics
  • The Shift to WDM Is Well Under Way
    • Worldwide WDM and SONET/SDH Revenue
  • 40G/100G Technology Brings New Economics to Carrier Transport
  • 40G/100G Survey Shows a Reset of Prior 10G Pricing Expectations
    • Reasons to Deploy 40G and 100G Optical Technology
    • Price Levels at which Carriers Would Switch to a Higher Transport Speed
  • 100G Will Reach 2x The Cost of 40G
    • PM-QPSK Coherent Electronics, 40G vs. 100G
    • 40G and 100G Component Module ASPs and Units
  • Big Shift Is Coming: Almost Half of WDM Linecard Revenue Will Be 100G by 2014
    • Worldwide 10G/40G/100G WDM Linecard Revenue
  • Conclusions: If Price of 100G Is Twice 40G, the 100G Era Will Begin in Earnest in 2013

Download the free white paper at in the White Papers section, or directly at





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