Time Warner Telecom first to deploy ultra-high-capacity optical system

Lucent Technologies and Time Warner Telecom have signed an agreement to deploy the newest Lucent optical networking system.

Under the terms of the agreement, Time Warner Telecom will be among the first to deploy the Lucent WaveStar OLS 1.6T, an ultra-high-capacity dense wave division multiplexing (DWDM) system. This new technology will enable Time Warner Telecom to expand the capacity of its network. The three-year agreement is valued at up to $100 million.

Initially, Lucent is delivering and installing the system with the capacity of 800 gigabits (billion bits) per second (Gb/s). At this rate, a single fibre in Time Warner Telecom’s network could transmit the data contained on some 160 CD ROMs each second. The system Time Warner Telecom is purchasing includes a combiner/splitter that makes it ‘terabit ready.’ This means a carrier can double its network capacity to 1.6 terabits (a trillion bits) per second, without interrupting service, when its bandwidth requirements call for such a capacity boost.

Lucent’s Worldwide Services is engineering, installing and integrating the Lucent systems into Time Warner Telecom’s western region network supporting Los Angeles; San Francisco; Oakland, Calif.; Portland, Ore.; Seattle; Boise, Idaho; Las Vegas and Phoenix. Much of the network in the western states was recently acquired by Time Warner Telecom in its $690 million purchase of assets from the bankruptcy of GST Telecommunications Inc. Deployment is already underway in phases in the western states and is expected to be completed by mid-2001.

The Lucent WaveStar OLS 1.6T architecture provides Time Warner Telecom a scalable solution for long-haul applications and builds on the technology platform of the Lucent WaveStar OLS 400G – a DWDM system that offers up to 400 Gb/s of capacity. DWDM technology increases network capacity by transmitting multiple wavelengths – or colours – of light across a single fibre, with each wavelength carrying a distinct stream of information.

In April 2000, Lucent announced the WaveStar OLS 800G – an upgrade to the 400G system that uses DWDM to provide up to 320 2.5-Gb/s wavelengths or 80 10-Gb/s wavelengths for a total capacity of 800 Gb/s. The WaveStar OLS 800G is generally available today, and can be purchased with a combiner/splitter that makes it ‘terabit ready’ – meaning a network provider can upgrade to the new Lucent WaveStar OLS 1.6T without service interruption.

The WaveStar OLS 1.6T, which will be generally available in spring 2001, offers up to 160 10-Gb/s wavelengths for a total capacity of 1.6 Tb/s on one fibre. This is achieved by using the company’s ‘L-Band’ optical amplifier, which enables network providers to transmit traffic through a previously unused frequency, or wavelength range, in a fibre. Using the amplifier and combiner/splitter to open up this previously untapped bandwidth, the network provider can double the number of wavelengths transmitted on the fibre from 80 to 160.

As part of the new agreement – an expansion of an existing $250 million agreement between the two companies dating back to 1998 – Lucent also will provide its WaveStar Network Management System. This software system will provide Time Warner Telecom with centralised control and a comprehensive set of features for the management of its DWDM network.

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