News Release

Sprint, Cisco and Ciena Fuel Next-Generation Services with 40-Gbps Circuits on the Global Sprint Tier 1 IP Network

Unique implementation is expected to increase capacity as well as drive network efficiencies and gains in performance
Sprint continues aggressive deployment of Cisco CRS-1 Carrier Routing System
Jul 15, 2008

OVERLAND PARK, Kan.; SAN JOSE, Calif.; LINTHICUM, Md. - July 15, 2008 - Sprint (NYSE: S), Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) and Ciena (NASDAQ: CIEN) announced today that they are implementing 40-gigabits-per-second (Gbps) network capabilities on the Global Sprint Tier 1 IP Network using a technology called Internet Protocol over dense wavelength-division multiplexing, or IPoDWDM for short. The implementation supports the needs of Sprint customers who are looking to adopt next-generation services, grow their businesses and enable their employees to conduct day-to-day tasks, simply and immediately.

Today's announcement builds upon Sprint's aggressive deployment of the Cisco CRS-1 Carrier Routing System. In 2004, Sprint and Cisco used CRS-1 routers to conduct the first 40-Gbps technology trial with live-production traffic. Sprint began deploying them in its IP core network in 2006. Today, Sprint CRS-1 routers are deployed in more than 25 U.S. cities, and Sprint is working to ensure this leading-edge infrastructure technology is enabled domestically and internationally.

Sprint is further enhancing its network by deploying 40-Gbps circuits and expanding available capacity for its customers. Earlier this year, Sprint completed final testing of the 40-Gbps IPoDWDM technology and enabled their first production 40-Gbps circuit. This converged solution used the Cisco® CRS-1 Carrier Routing System with built-in transponders along with Ciena's CoreStream® Agility platform to transport the wavelength across the fiber-optic network. To date, several 40-Gbps circuits have been deployed, and those are carrying commercial IP-based services.

"Sprint's network capabilities support the growing use of the Internet, as well as the growth we are seeing with Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) services - and our efforts to effectively migrate customers from legacy technologies to SprintLink IP and Global MPLS platforms," said Kathy Walker, chief information and network officer for Sprint. "Deployment of 40-Gbps circuits throughout our IP core enables next-generation data, voice and video applications and allows Sprint to scale its IP network to address customer needs, as IP increasingly becomes the basis of communications services."

As a long-standing customer of multiple Ciena platforms, Sprint began deploying CoreStream, with its 100G-ready scalable capacity and flexible design, in its Tier 1 IP backbone in 2000 and has more than 1,000 nodes deployed across its network today.

"By delivering 40-Gbps wavelengths over the existing CoreStream network, Sprint is streamlining its operational efficiency by delivering up to 3.2 terabits-per-second (Tbps) of capacity over a minimum number of wavelengths and without doing costly overbuilds," said Steve Alexander, CTO of Ciena. "This approach underscores Ciena's commitment to maximizing the lifecycle of our customers' network investment so it continuously scales and adapts over time to help them capitalize on the business opportunities presented by mobile broadband, Ethernet and IP-based services."

The implementation of IPoDWDM drives efficiencies by eliminating client connections between the router and DWDM system and increasing bandwidth four times by transmitting 40-Gbps across an existing 10-Gbps DWDM system. The integration of router and DWDM transponder components reduces network complexity and increases the scalability and resiliency of the backbone. IPoDWDM can also position Sprint to rapidly move to higher data rates (e.g., 100-Gbps) without overhauling the network infrastructure.

"Cisco pioneered IP over DWDM by introducing it to the industry in December 2005," said Kelly Ahuja, Cisco vice president and general manager of the service provider routing technology group. "Sprint was an early adopter of both it and our IP NGN architecture to combine and distribute video, voice and data content rapidly to the benefit of its customers' network experiences and to do it efficiently to benefit its business."