Whether reading the latest news on an iPad, tweeting on an HTC Incredible or watching video clips on YouTube, our collective need for bandwidth is seemingly insatiable. And that isn’t going to change anytime soon. The biggest impact can be found in the equipment market, where demand for 40G and 100G gear is on an upswing. As Michael Howard, principal analyst and co-founder of Infonetics Research, writes:
“While worldwide spending on service provider IP edge routers declined overall in 2009, spending on high-speed 40G ports on IP edge routers increased 125%. A similar trend is playing out in other routing and switching segments and in the optical network hardware space. This is the clearest indication yet that service providers are turning to higher-speed options for their next-generation networks to handle skyrocketing traffic.”
Infonetics also notes that: “The number of 40G ports shipped on enterprise and service provider equipment doubled in 2009,” and predicts that this growth will continue “with 10G, 40G, and 100G port shipments together increasing 10-fold from 2009 to 2014.”
The demand for higher capacity is one of the reasons why companies are experimenting with new technologies. Today, Alcatel-Lucent (s ALU) said it was able to send three terabits per second of data over an Atlantic undersea cable. The test was conducted using Alcatel-Lucent’s 40G channels over the north cable system owned by Apollo.
Using Alcatel-Lucent advanced technology, this test was performed over Apollo’s north cable system linking the US and the UK, a distance of 6,221 km, and almost quadrupled the original design capacity of the system (72 channels at 40Gb/s, all error-free). The test demonstrated for the first time on a live system a capacity increase of a factor of two compared to the maximum capacity achievable based on 10Gbit/s channels.
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