SAN JOSE, Calif. Big telecommunications providers are hungry for higher density systems, but they are concerned about the high costs of the first 100 Gigabit Ethernet systems coming this year and the need to transition to IPv6.
That was the view from Doug Junkins, chief technology officer of NTT America whose unit agreed last week to buy new Cisco ASR-9000 core network routers to pave the way for a 100G Ethernet deployment. Junkins also commented on his group's evaluation of about seven competing systems.
"We are a wholesale IP transit provider, and our highest growth is in 10G Ethernet ports for new customers," said Junkins who is also vice president of IP development for NTT Communications' business network unit. "We have customers today bundling more than ten 10G Ethernets from our backbone to their net, so the day 100G Ethernet is available, we will start provisioning for it," he said.
The systems should start rolling later this year but their optical modules could be ten to thirty times as expensive as those on today's 10G systems. Junkins called such prices prohibitive, "so for some period of time there may be availability of 100G Ethernet, but from a cost perspective it will make more sense to bundle 10G Ethernet links," he said.
Optical component vendors counter that a 10x price difference still provides the same cost-per-bit as today's 10G modules, and premium prices are typical for every new product generation. As 100G module volumes rise and engineers are able to integrate the optical components and move from today's 10G to future 25G serdes, those price premiums will fall, they said.