Verizon upgrades fibre core network capacity for 5G future

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A Verizon technician testing 5G service in Houston (credit: Verizon)

US operator Verizon is giving its fibre core network an overhaul, upgrading older router equipment to use the latest 400Gb/s per-port optical technology. 

Upon completion of the upgrade, the operator will be able to manage 115Tb/s of data, significantly increasing the bandwidth needed to support wireless, home internet, enterprise, small business and Fios customers.

Earlier this year, Verizon announced that data traffic on its 5G network had already increased 249 per cent, and exponentially higher increases are expected as more customers adopt the technology. The new optical core is upgradeable to future 800Gb/s and 1Tb/s per port optical technology, allowing the operator to manage 230Tb/s of data at any given time.

The new equipment was supplied by Juniper Networks, and it provides the additional benefit that it is much smaller than the existing equipment, reducing space requirements in core facilities and driving down both power usage and operational costs. The equipment also offers a more advanced level of automation, allowing for automated interfaces with other network systems to make faster decisions and changes, improving reporting telemetry to advance analytics and real-time adjustments to address congestion or other performance improvements, and incorporating protocols like segment routing to make more intelligent routing decisions. 

In addition, the new equipment is very dense with a very large capacity, which means that Verizon will be able to redesign its network architecture to spread the equipment out to additional facilities across geographies, building in an additional level of redundancy with the ability to reroute traffic onto a greater number of fibre routes when needed.

Kyle Malady, chief technology officer at Verizon says: ‘Our fibre network is the largely invisible foundation that is a key driving force behind providing the scalability and reliability our customers need and expect. This new packet core will provide the reliability and capacity we need today, but more importantly will be able to scale to meet the forecasted future demands that will result from the incredible capabilities of our robust 5G network, the platform for 21st century innovation.’

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