BT's 21C network will be based on fibre

UK incumbent BT has chosen US firm Ciena as a key vendor of optical equipment for its 21st Century Network (21CN).

Ciena will supply its 6500 Packet-Optical Platform, equipped with coherent optical processors that support 10G and 40G/100G wavelengths side-by-side, in order to provide BT with a smooth migration path to 100G and beyond.

The 6500 platform will also offer integrated Optical Transport Network (OTN) switching with advanced control plan functionality, providing BT with network intelligence to optimise support of a wide range of traffic types.

Ciena is also providing the telco with its multi-layer, multi-domain management suite, called OneControl, which will be integrated into BT’s existing operations support systems and provide monitoring for the entire network.

Commercial roll-out of Ciena’s network technology will commence before the end of this year, with the initial roll-out to include a single photonic layer covering BT’s network throughout the UK.

BT’s 21CN project is intended to transform its network into an all-IP system, and enable the delivery of a range of new services, including interactive TV.

The project is closely linked with an infrastructure upgrade that includes the connection of two-thirds of UK premises to fibre-based broadband by the end of 2014 – one year ahead of its original target of 2015.

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