Wednesday, October 22, 2008

AT&T Completes IP/MPLS Network over 40 Gbps Optical Backbone

AT&T has completed the transition of IP traffic to its next-generation, consolidated IP/MPLS backbone network. AT&T describes its new full-mesh optical platform as the world's largest deployment to date of 40 Gbps transport. The company's entire U.S. ultra-long haul network -- more than 80,000 fiber-optic wavelength miles -- now uses this 40-gigabit network technology, known as OC-768. AT&T began turning up 40-gigabit service in volume in its network in the second half of 2006 after completing multiple field trials.

The AT&T IP/MPLS backbone network serves as the foundation for all AT&T Internet and IP services, carrying traffic ranging from consumer broadband to wireless data to mission-critical enterprise applications such as unified communications, on-demand content services and utility computing. The network also carries substantial Internet traffic from around the world.

In addition, AT&T Labs researchers and industry partners announced a breakthrough test using emerging 100-gigabit technologies to carry data totaling 17 terabits per second (Tbps) over a single strand of optical fiber. Specifically, AT&T researchers, working with NEC Corporation of America and Corning Incorporated, recently completed a successful test of such technologies that demonstrated data transmission at 114 Gbps over each of 161 separate wavelength channels on a single optical fiber, transporting a total capacity of 17 Tbps over 622 kilometers. This new record for backbone transport used fiber and optical amplifiers that are compatible with those used today.

AT&T noted that in recent years, IP traffic on its backbone has grown about 60 percent year over year. By 2018, IP traffic on the AT&T network is projected to be a staggering 5,600 percent greater than what it is today. AT&T currently carries about 16 petabytes of total IP and data traffic on an average business day, the equivalent of a 2.5-megabyte music download for every man, woman and child on the planet.