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Vocus rolls out 1.6 Tbps technology to light up Australia

Australian network services provider deploying coherent optical technology to meet growing demands for bandwidth and cut energy usage across the network’s long-haul and metro links from Brisbane to Perth

Australian telco Vocus has announced it is to deploy Ciena’s WaveLogic 6 Extreme (WL6e) 1.6 Tbps coherent technology across its long-haul and metro links.

Noting that service providers are currently trying to grapple with the dual challenge of satisfying unabating bandwidth demand and cutting energy use, Ciena said WaveLogic 6 supports the capabilities and evolution paths needed to meet current and future network and business requirements.

First announced in February 2023, and said to be optimised for high-capacity transport required with next-generation routing data paths and associated wholesale services, WaveLogic 6 is designed to support up to 1.6Tbps single-carrier wavelengths for metro ROADM deployments, 800Gbps over the longest links and what are called energy-efficient 800G pluggables across 1,000km distances.

The Vocus carrier-grade network extends across Australia, and into Asia-Pacific in cities, regional and remote areas, or international locations. The company also works with wholesale fibre networks and boasts work with more than 5,000 organisations, including more than 200 Australian government agencies and nearly two-thirds of the ASX 200.

The coherent optic offering, described as an industry first, will be the basis for Vocus to deliver connectivity across Australia – from Brisbane to Perth, via Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne and Adelaide – to benefit from greater cost-effectiveness and reliability.

Optimised for the high-capacity transport that is required with next-generation routing data paths and associated wholesale services, Ciena’s WL6e will support up to 1.6 Tbps single-carrier wavelengths for metro ROADM deployments and 800 Gb/s-1.2 Tbps over the longest links.

“We are delighted to be the first network operator to announce plans to adopt this exciting technology after partnering with Ciena,” said Steve Haigh, general manager of network engineering at Vocus. “We are at a significant stage in the cloud and artificial intelligence era, and WL6e will provide the capacity required for Vocus to meet the needs of new and existing customers looking to thrive in this transformative period.”

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In addition to helping Vocus prepare its network to handle what it predicts will be unprecedented bandwidth demands, Ciena believes WL6e will also enable Vocus to drive energy efficiency by reducing the amount of equipment and space needed.

“Ciena’s industry-leading pedigree in optical innovation combined with our drive to create adaptive and energy-efficient networks that address surging bandwidth demands is designed to help network providers like Vocus deliver a superior digital experience for customers with even greater economies of scale,” said Matt Vesperman, vice-president of Asia-Pacific at Ciena.

“With the additional network capacity enabled by WL6e, Vocus will solidify its position as a leading carrier providing reliable and cost-effective connectivity across Australia and New Zealand.”

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