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January 27, 1998

LUCENT CLAIMS OPTICAL NETWORKING BREAKTHROUGH

By CBR Staff Writer

US communications Lucent Technologies Inc has announced a breakthrough in optical networking that boosts the speed of the fastest network backbones by five times. The new system crams 80 wavelengths – different colored streams of light – over a single optic fiber, using wavelength division multiplexing, and this enables communications carriers to increase the capacity of their networks without having the capital expense of laying further fiber optic cables. AT&T Corp has already pledged to use Lucent’s new system to boost the capacity of its own 40,000 mile long distance network ten-fold (CI No 3,334). Each of the upgraded WaveStar systems, that used to operate with maximum of 16 wavelengths and a bandwidth of 40 Gigabits per second per fiber, is designed to work with 8 fibers, each with a capacity of 400 Gigabits per second. The equipment will also support lower numbers of multiplexed Wavelengths, so its customers can upgrade their existing networks. Lucent claims that the WaveStar OLS 400G will deliver high rate communications capacity 40% cheaper than competitors systems, such as those from Pirelli SpA, Cienna Corp, Alcatel-Alstholm SA and NEC Corp. Lucent has been developing these systems in its research and development facility Bell Laboratories, and is bound to be able to boost network capacity further, as in February last year, it built a system with 206 wavelengths crammed down a single fiber (CI No 3,108). The announced WaveStar system is due to start shipping com mercially in the fourth quarter of this year.

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