Telia claims 400GE first with Cisco

Huge rise in users wanting on-demand content prompts internet backbone provider to deploy Cisco 400GE-ready network

As it prepares for the growth expected with 5G, streaming and always-on connections, Stockholm-based Telia Carrier has launched what it says is a first-of-its-kind, full-scale, 400GE-ready network.

A recent rise in the internet backbone provider’s customer base, exceeding 2,000 customers in more than 120 countries, with what has been described as an unquenchable thirst for on-demand content, has seen Telia Carrier find a solution with more capacity, speed and efficiency than previous network infrastructure could manage. 

The new infrastructure is backed with Cisco’s cloud-scale routing technology and follows its successful deployment of more than 10,000 new 100GE ports in 2019 using the same platform.

The upgraded carrier network makes use of Cisco NCS5500 series routers, and is claimed to give Telia customers global reach to more service provider networks than any other carrier in the world. The result is said to be more content streaming, gaming and constant connectivity for its customers, in more places than ever before. These services will be delivered at speeds ranging from 1GE to 400GE. 

“Conventional architectures and technologies built on decades of accumulated complexity and yesterday’s truths fall short in helping us keep up with customer demands for more consistent bandwidth and a high-quality experience,” said Staffan Göjeryd, CEO at Telia Carrier.

“This is especially true as more value is shifting to software, hardware cycles are becoming shorter and ongoing 400G standardisation is poised to finally disrupt the optical networking market. With Cisco leading the market in high-capacity transport, they were the perfect fit to help us reach this monumental milestone to continue to perform at the highest calibre, while also reducing costs.”

Telia Carrier also believes that the ongoing standardisation of 400GE coherent technologies incentivises new, simplified and partially disaggregated IP over DWDM architectures. The NCS5500 will be deployed to realise Telia’s ambitions as the carrier is already using open optical line systems across several continents.

Read more about optical networks

In December 2019, Cisco announced a slew of next-generation networking infrastructure products based around three pillars, one of which was optics. Explaining its work in that area, Cisco said that as port rates increase from 100G to 400G and beyond, optics will become an increasingly larger portion of the cost to build and operate internet infrastructure.

The company said at the time that it was investing in this area to assure customers that as router and switch port rates continue to increase, optics will be designed to meet reliability and quality standards. It also guaranteed that as silicon and silicon photonics advance, functions traditionally delivered in separate chassis-based systems will soon be available in pluggable form factors.

Silicon photonics technologies are intended to effect architectural transitions in datacentre networks and service provider networks, driving down cost, reducing power and space, and simplifying network operations, it said.

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