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New ITU standard makes fat pipes fatter

International Telecommunications Union delegates from government and industry have agreed on a new global standard...


November 5, 2003  


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International Telecommunications Union delegates from government and industry have agreed on a new global standard that will allow network operators to increase the capacity of optical fibre.

ITU-T Recommendation G.695 applies to a technology called Coarse Wave Division Multiplexing (CWDM), used most often in metropolitan networks. In today’s cost-conscious telecommunications market CWDM is seen as a cheaper and simpler alternative to DWDM (Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing).

Less expensive uncooled lasers may be used in CWDM products because of wide channel spacing. These lasers require less precise wavelength control, as well as lower-cost passive components.

Experts estimate that carriers with sufficient deployed fibre could make savings of up to 30 per cent deploying a CWDM solution compared with the DWDM alternative. The growing demand for bandwidth in this area has created a need to better utilize existing infrastructure and for a new standard to ensure interoperability. Operator interest and investment in CWDM is already significant, according to an ITU statement.

“CWDM systems have the flexibility to be deployed in point-to-point connections and in rings,” said study group chairman Peter Wery. “Their suitability to carry Ethernet traffic and to interconnect Storage-Area-Network (SAN) islands make these systems of interest to large and medium-sized carriers, but also to cable TV companies and for enterprise network operators.”


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