Telstra boosts optical links to 400 Gbps

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Telstra boosts optical links to 400 Gbps

Work from home, gaming and streaming are bandwidth hogs.

Telstra’s giving its backbones a boost, deploying 400 Gbps Ethernet links on its optical network.

The extra capacity between Telstra’s IP routers will initially focus on internet traffic and broadband connectivity.

According to Iskra Nikolova, Telstra executive for network and infrastructure, fixed traffic is growing at more than 40 percent annually, and mobile at 25 percent annually, spurred in part by people switching to working from home since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Video streaming, online gaming, as well as cloud and data centre connectivity, are also driving up capacity requirements.

“Increasing the ability to interface into Telstra’s Next Generation Optical Network will allow us to scale more efficiently and provide an enhanced experience for our mobile, fixed broadband, enterprise and wholesale customers,” Nikolova said.

To get the extra capacity Telstra worked with Ericsson and Ciena to upgrade the interfaces in the carrier’s Ciena 6500 packet-optical switches from 100 Gbps to 400 Gbps.

In a media statement, Ericsson said the upgrade will also reduce the power consumption of the optical network, in spite of the fourfold growth in a service capacity.

The three companies are long-time partners in Telstra’s optical networking, and first demonstrated the feasibility of the 400 Gbps interfaces in 2018.

They have also worked together to deploy Ciena’s GoMesh Extreme on Telstra’s submarine network, to help the network recover from outages.

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