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Sprint Reaches New Milestones For Network Speed

Sprint (NYSE: S) and Ciena (NASDAQ: CIEN) have teamed to achieve two significant milestones in speed and capacity on Sprint’s network:
  • Earlier this year, the companies trialed, and Sprint has since deployed, one of the longest 100 Gigabits-per-second (Gbps) circuits in the United States with a live transmission that required no signal regeneration over a distance of 2,100 km, or 1,304 miles.
  • Last month, the companies successfully completed a live 400Gbps trial on Sprint’s network.

The trials validate Sprint’s leadership in deploying new network technologies designed to meet exponential growth in demand for data by Sprint business and consumer customers. This includes bandwidth-intensive cloud services and other applications like streaming HD video, telepresence and high-capacity data center connectivity.

Until recently, the Sprint network offered wireline services at speeds of up to 10Gbps. The trials demonstrated the viability of using innovative technology to achieve speeds up to 10 times faster (and up to 40 times faster in the future), without requiring costly network upgrades to Sprint’s robust fiber infrastructure. Sprint Ethernet Wave Services will support 100Gbps speeds now, and Sprint expects to leverage Ciena’s coherent optical technology to support services operating at 400Gbps in the future.

Key results from the two field trials:

100Gbps: The 100Gbps circuit trialed earlier this year is now integrated into the Sprint optical network infrastructures and is in-serviced between Chicago and Fort Worth, Texas. The 100Gbps link uses Ciena WaveLogic 3 coherent optical processors on the 6500 Packet Optical Platform to enable Sprint to successfully transmit data at 100Gbps over the 2,100km (1,304-mile) circuit, with no regeneration of the signal at points in between. The longer distance between regeneration points provides reduced latency, hardware benefits and improved reliability, flexibility and performance for customers.

400Gbps: This trial was performed in the Silicon Valley area using existing Sprint fiber infrastructure and Ciena’s 6500 with WaveLogic 3 cards; this high-capacity link operated without error. This demonstrated the viability of using 400Gbps channels alongside existing channels carrying live customer traffic. As a result, Sprint foresees the opportunity to add a network equivalent of high-speed traffic lanes for customers with high-demand requirements.

“Customers have expressed their hunger for higher speed networks to support their substantial data needs, which we project will only continue to grow exponentially,” said Wayne Ward, vice president-Business and Product Development, Sprint. “The 400Gbps trial demonstrates our ability to offer higher speeds with our existing fiber, which means that our customers can feel assured that our network is future-proofed to meet their needs as they evolve. The delivery of 100Gbps and 400Gbps speeds will be critical as we launch our Ethernet Wave Services and support a growing wireless infrastructure.”

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