100G : Marching Toward 100G

VoicenData Bureau
New Update

The demand for bandwidth has increased manifold in the last couple of years.

The large scale networks are continuously challenged by bandwidth constraints of

the backbone network while trying to accommodate the demands of new, high-speed

services. 100G is being proposed as an economical solution to the emerging

bandwidth crisis caused by the demand for new services.


Most of the operators today are using 10 gigabit per second (10G) optical

networks, which forms the high-speed backbone core for communications. This is

inadequate considering the increasing use of technology. According to some

estimates, YouTube alone consumes more bandwidth today than the entire Internet

traffic in the year 2000.

Bandwidth Crisis

Bandwidth is today becoming the most coveted commodity. With more and more

devices connected today, it is fueling an increase in devices and applications

accessing networks. The emergence of new IP-based consumer service has led to

further pressure on bandwidth. This unprecedented demand for bandwidth is

causing bandwidth constraints in carrier networks worldwide. Service providers

are thus trying to squeeze more gigabit capacity into their network fiber-optic


The operators are looking for new technologies to boost current 10G networks

to 40G and ultimately to 100G capabilities, which will meet the demands of

increasing Internet usage without increasing subscriber fee to pay for expensive

network upgradations. Though most operators are using 10G today, many are making

efforts to migrate from 10G to 40G. This technology is especially relevant in

the current credit crunch since operators are considering scenario to use the

same infrastructure for increasing capacity.


An ideal way to increase the capacity from 10G to 40G and then to 100G would

be to leverage existing fiber and other technology and gear from 10G and 40G

iterations. This would obviously appeal to service operators since it requires

minimum possible new capital expenditure.

The fastest existing standard is 10G and both 40G and 100G are standards

presently under development by the IEEE. In November 2006, an IEEE study decided

to target 100 Ethernet as the next version of the technology. The IEEE has set

up a Higher Speed Study Group (HSSG) to decide the specifications for higher

speed Ethernet. While 10G took about five years to develop, 100G is likely to

become a norm sooner than that because of an increasing pressure on bandwidth.


Nortel is at the forefront of development of this technology. The company is

credited with developing the industry's first optical technology which can

deliver both 40G and 100G network capacity, enabling four times the network

throughput immediately, while providing the foundation to simply increase the

capacity tenfold as required. Verizon is another company which conducted some

trials last year. In September last year, Verizon and Nokia Siemens Networks

announced that they had successfully transmitted data at 100G on a single

wavelength for more than 1,040 kilometers, setting a new distance record over

deployed fiber and demonstrating better performance than conventional


A study by Infonetics Research says that demand for 40G Ethernet services

will grow rapidly over the next four years. Between 2007 and 2011, the study

projects that 40G Ethernet revenue will see a of 59% as companies look to meet

ever-higher demands for greater bandwidth capacity.

Gagandeep Kaur