Alcatel-Lucent follows Juniper with 100G Ethernet; where's Cisco?

Vendors announcing capability for carrier routers

Alcatel-Lucent has followed Juniper by a few weeks with an announcement of 100Gbps Ethernet capabilities for its carrier routers. ALU plans to add it to its 7750 services edge router while Juniper has it pegged for the T1600 core platform.

Even though the companies are announcing now, they won't ship product until the first half of next year -- closer to the time the IEEE 802.3ba standard is ratified. They key driver for 100G Ethernet, they say, is the growing concentration of video in service networks -- ALU says 2/3 of consumer Internet traffic in 2010 and beyond is expected to be video of some form.

So where is Cisco? The company conducted tests of a 100G Ethernet interface on its CRS-1 carrier core router at Comcast a year ago; but to date, no announcement from the leader.

Why not? Cisco says it is waiting for the standard to be ratified, and for a customer to deploy the technology before announcing. Again, Comcast tested the interface on the CRS-1.

Cisco also says its ASR 9000 edge router is capable of supporting 16 100G Ethernet interfaces. Verizon Wireless is deploying the ASR 9000, ASR 1000 and CRS-1 routers in its 4G buildout. 

Still, Cisco would not commit to announcing the product and customer deployment by June 2010, when the standard is expected to be ratified.

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