Optical Connections Magazine and ECOC Exhibition Show Guide


FromM&A’s to new long-distance subsea cables, a lot happened in the fibre optic communications industry in 2020. Looking forward, the future prospects look just as good, if not better. 2020: A GOOD YEAR FOR FIBRE

800G TRANSCEIVERMARKET WORTHUS$2.5BN BY 2029 According to analysts Communications Industry Researchers (CIR), the market opportunity for 800G transceivers and above will reach US$245 million in revenues by 2025 rising to US$2.5 billion by 2029. Driven initially by video, CIR expects the traffic in data centres will be further driven by 5G and IoT applications requiring data centre infrastructure to be rebuilt using 800G interfaces. CIR sees 800G being used for interbuilding connectivity but will become a necessity for data centres that make significant use of 200G servers. CIR also sees some pioneer efforts to build the first few public network 800G links using technology that is somewhat proprietary to the equipment makers. According to Lawrence Gasman, author of this new study and president of CIR, “800G represents a new era in optical networking speeds and latencies to accommodate the substantial uptick in video conferencing, streaming and digital entertainment as well new applications including virtual reality, augmented reality and artificial intelligence services.” CIR says that commercial 800Gmodules will be available in the next couple of years. This means that the 800G “revolution” is an event we can expect to happen soon. Previous generations of modules have been 10x efforts – 10G to 100 G. 800G can be implemented quite quickly because it can be achieved in effect be gluing 400G modules together. It believes that the 800G public network market will never be a large one, because transceivers will be marketed as part of larger systems packages. They will be proprietary so that the equipment companies can squeeze as many features as possible out of their boxes in order impress the large telcos, which is not an easy thing to do. In the context of public networks, the companies that matter in terms of 800G trials are Ciena, Huawei, and

Infinera, but given political realities Huawei’s market will largely limited to China and countries in China’s sphere of influence. It adds that a few other companies including Facebook and Microsoft are important as they will provide both a testbed for the most advanced transceiver technology in this area, as well as leadership for their technology development through organizations such as COBO (Consortium for On-Board Optics), and Cisco, because of its ability to shape the entire datacom market. CIR also believes that IBM, Intel, and a few other firms are important because they have extensive and growing experience of co-packaged/integrated optics which will eventually help Terabit networking to emerge.

differentiated infrastructure division assets will ensure greater focus on network investment and development of high- speed infrastructure services under the more specialised ownership of this experienced investor,” commented Ernie Ortega, GTT CRO and interim CEO. “The deal enables GTT to reinforce its capex light business model as well as its cloud networking focus and will benefit both enterprise and infrastructure clients alike.” Gautam Bhandari, managing partner at I Squared Capital stated, “Now more than ever, digital infrastructure is an essential asset class as societies across the globe rely heavily on high-speed digital bandwidth. This acquisition builds upon I Squared Capital’s overarching global digital infrastructure strategy and experience with complex carve-outs to expand the reach of our platforms across Asia, Europe and North America.” The acquisition is expected to close, subject to satisfying all required regulatory approvals and contingencies included in the agreement, during the first half of 2021.

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GTT SELLS INFRASTRUCTURE DIVISION FOR US$2.15BN GTT Communications has sold off its entire infrastructure division I Squared Capital, an independent global infrastructure investment firm, for US$2.15 billion. The infrastructure division consists of GTT’s business and activities providing Pan- European, North American, sub-sea and trans-Atlantic fibre network and data centre infrastructure services to customers. The infrastructure division sale consists of selected network and data centre assets accumulated from several GTT acquisitions, including Interoute, Hibernia, and KPN International, that comprise. Included in the deal is a 103,000 route kilometre fibre network with over 400 points of presence, spanning 31 metro areas and interconnecting 103 cities across Europe and North America; three transatlantic subsea cables, including GTT Express, the lowest latency route between Europe and North America; and fourteen Tier 3 data centres and over 100 colocation facilities. “The divestment of the highly

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NOKIA TO SELL OFF DOCSIS ASSETS TOVECIMA Nokia has announced plans to sell off its cable access portfolio to Canada-based Vecima for an undisclosed sum. The deal covers Nokia’s Unified Cable Access solution, which includes the Gainspeed portfolio of products, a centrally controlled Distributed Access Architecture (DAA) solution with unified support for Flexible MAC DAA nodes for Hybrid Fiber-Coaxial (HFC) networks and DOCSIS Provisioning of EPON (DPoE) nodes for FTTH/B. The portfolio also includes a DAA video engine and a chassis based EPON/DPoE solution for non-HFC network implementations. Employees who currently support the Nokia DOCSIS DAA and EPON/DPoE




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