News Release

BT and Cisco Complete Landmark 100G DWDM Trial

Companies Integrate Coherent 100G Optical Interfaces with Cisco CRS-3 Carrier Routing System in Successful Trial to Prepare BT's Network for Future Growth and Services
Sep 11, 2012

SAN JOSE, Calif., September 11, 2012 – To prepare its advanced global telecommunications network for the ongoing growth in Internet-enabled devices, services and applications, BT has successfully completed a landmark technology trial with Cisco intended to increase available bandwidth, simplify network operations, reduce capital expenses, and help usher in a new generation of consumer and business services. According to the most recent Cisco® Visual Networking Index Forecast, global IP traffic has increased eightfold in the last five years, and will increase threefold over the next five years.

BT and Cisco successfully completed an Internet protocol over dense wave division multiplexing (IPoDWDM) trial by integrating coherent 100G optical interfaces with the Cisco CRS-3 Carrier Routing System (CRS-3), the first known trial of its kind, to prepare BT's network for future growth and services. IPoDWDM is a technology which enables high-speed Internet services to be delivered over existing DWDM networks, thereby negating the need for network upgrades and accelerating the speed with which new higher speed Internet services can be introduced.

With the explosive growth of IP traffic on the network driven by video, mobile and cloud applications, service providers are looking for innovative ways to increase network capacity while increasing network availability and reliability.  The trial, completed in the summer of 2012, used Cisco's CRS-3 core router generating a standards-compliant 100G "alien wavelength" directly into BT's existing network over a 770 kilometer span consisting of DWDM systems from multiple vendors.

Integrating the DWDM components into the router eliminated the need for a costly external transponder.  Furthermore, the use of Cisco's coherent technology eliminated the need for additional dispersion compensation units and electrical and optical regeneration equipment, providing a path for BT to further reduce capital and operational expenses. 

"Using an IPoDWDM and alien wavelength solution whilst leveraging our existing DWDM investment allows BT to scale its network to a new level. Fulfilling demand for Fibre  Broadband and reducing the unit cost for bandwidth at the same time allows us to invest for the future and is key to BT's strategy. Working with Cisco on this trial has been highly productive in demonstrating the viability of this approach" said Neil McRae, BT's Chief Network Architect.

IPoDWDM provides service providers with an opportunity to increase operational efficiencies, realize significant cost savings in power and real estate through equipment reduction while deploying an eco-friendly solution that helps reduce the overall network carbon footprint.

"Integrating long-haul transport interfaces such as coherent 100Gb/s IPoDWDM into routers to reduce cost while addressing bandwidth demands on service provider core networks is a key step forward for the industry," said Surya Panditi, senior vice president and general manager, Cisco Service Provider Group. "In addition, as service providers increase the capacity of their core networks to 100G and beyond, the CRS-3 ensures continued growth and investment protection with its ability to manage 400 Gbps per slot."

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  • Cisco Carrier Routing System (CRS-3)

Supporting Resources


Cisco, BT, Cisco Carrier Routing System CRS-3, CRS-3, Internet Protocol Next-Generation Network, IP NGN, Visual Networking Index Forecast, VNI.

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 About BT

BT is one of the world's leading providers of communications services and solutions, serving customers in more than 170 countries.  Its principal activities include the provision of networked IT services globally; local, national and international telecommunications services to its customers for use at home, at work and on the move; broadband and internet products and services and converged fixed/mobile products and services.  BT consists principally of four lines of business: BT Global Services, BT Retail, BT Wholesale and Openreach.

In the year ended 31 March 2012, BT Group's revenue was £18,897m with profit before taxation of £2,445m.

British Telecommunications plc (BT) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group plc and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group.  BT Group plc is listed on stock exchanges in London and New York. 

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