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Sprint trials 40 Gbit/s IP link over 9,000 km New York-Sweden cable system using Cisco CRS-1
Announced Date: 11/20/2008 Published Date: 11/24/2008

Sprint of Overland Park, Kansas, an approximately $5 billion-capitalised, 60,000-employee provider, mainly in the U.S., of wireless and wireline communications services, which:

  1. Operates two wireless networks serving nearly 51 million customers, supporting mobile data services and instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities, plus a global Tier 1 Internet backbone network.

  2. Has strategic alliances with Alcatel-Lucent, Cisco, HP, IBM, Microsoft, Nortel and Northrop Grumman.

Announced that, in collaboration with:

  1. The TAT-14 cable system consortium, comprising approximately 40 international telecommunications carriers, and specifically TeliaSonera of Stockholm, Sweden, operator of the TAT-14 cable landing station in Denmark.

  2. Cisco Systems, developer of the CRS-1 routing system.

  3. StrataLight Communications of Los Gatos, California, an approximately 200-employee specialist in the integration of IP and optical technologies and a supplier of 40 Gbit/s line-side optical subsystems and dispersion compensation modules, currently in the process of merging with Opnext of Eatontown, New Jersey.

It has completed a technology trial of the first "alien" wavelength (a wavelength generated by a device external to the system) OC-768 / STM-256 40 Gbit/s transatlantic IP link between New York and Luleå, Sweden.

In total spanning a more than 9,000 km fibre link, the trial:

  1. Traversed a 7,630 km section of the trans-Atlantic submarine TAT-14 cable system between Sea Girt, New Jersey and Blåbjerg, Denmark.

  2. Marks the first time, Sprint claims, that an OC-768 40 Gbit/s signal has been transmitted over a submarine cable using a single wavelength and existing DWDM systems.

  3. Involved TeliaSonera International Carrier providing support and optical backhaul from the European cable landing station for TAT-14 to Stockholm, and SUnet, the Swedish research and education network, providing the optical path to Lulea in the north of Sweden.

  4. Used a system based on Cisco's CRS-1 with IPoDWDM technology to generate the long haul signal, in which the CRS 1 emitted a coloured 40 Gbit/s wavelength that was fed directly into existing 10 Gbit/s DWDM transmission equipment.

  5. Involved close collaboration between Cisco and StrataLight Communications on the integration of IP and otpical technology.

Sprint Chief Information and Network Officer, Kathy Walker, stated:

  • "TAT-14 and Sprint were the first to transmit data at 10 Gbit/s, OC-192 speeds across the same path in 2001".

  • "Sprint and TAT-14 are making history again...by transmitting 40 Gbit/s over an existing 10 Gbit/s DWDM system".

Ross Saunders, GM for Next Generation Transport at StrataLight, was quoted as saying:

  • "This trial demonstrates the ability to multiply the transmission capacity of existing trans-oceanic submarine systems by four times simply by upgrading the end-points only".

  • "This can provide significant capital savings for service providers versus deploying new submarine cable systems".

While Peter Lothberg, an independent Swedish networking consultant from Stupi (Svensk TeleUtveckling & Produkt Innovation) of Karlstad, Sweden, remarked:

  • "Carrier-class routers, which integrate optical DWDM transport technology with packet processing, are the driving innovation behind the significant gains in network efficiency and cable system asset value".

  • "The road to greater success will continue to be paved by router designs optimised for improved optical transport".