PLDT inks P1.3-B deal with Ciena for 100G fiber optic upgrade

Overhauling its backbone infrastructure, dominant carrier PLDT has formally sealed a P1.3-billion contract with US network equipment maker Ciena for the upgrading of its domestic fiber optic network.

PLDT president and CEO Napoleon Nazareno and Ciena VP and general manager for Asia Pacific Anthony MacLachlan

Top officials of PLDT and Ciena signed the agreement in a press briefing held at the Makati Shangri-la Hotel in Makati City on Tuesday, July 24.

Anthony MacLachlan, VP and general manager for Asia Pacific at Ciena, said they hope to complete the rollout of the company Ciena’s coherent 100 Gigabits per second (100G) technology and Optical Transport Network (OTN) switching solutions by November of this year.

MacLachlan said there will be no service disruption that will be felt by customers and no street diggings will be made as well.

PLDT president and CEO Napoleon Nazareno said they picked Ciena for the big-ticket project primarily because the telco has been using network equipment provided by Nortel, which was bought by Ciena.

“As the first 100G network in the Philippines, this deployment will add significant bandwidth scalability, reliability and intelligence to PLDT’s network infrastructure. The network upgrade will complete PLDT’s core network modernization program and support the delivery of next-generation services to customers such as fiber-to-the-home, fiber-to-the-building, LTE/4G, IPTV and triple-play services,” Nazareno added.

He said the investment will not only benefit the customers of PLDT but also the subscribers of its cellular subsidiaries, Smart Communications and Sun Cellular.

With the regional and long-haul domestic network upgrade, PLDT will become the first network operator in the Philippines to deploy 100G, which will allow the operator to extract more capacity out of existing fiber and support the delivery of high-bandwidth services and applications.

PLDT will also be the first network operator in the Philippines to deploy Ciena’s 6500 Packet-Optical Platform with WaveLogic coherent optical technology, integrated ROADM and OTN switching.

“PLDT’s deployment of 100G in its domestic network puts the Philippines in a leadership position in Asia-Pacific, amongst only a handful of other countries in the region to do so thus far,” said McLachlan.

The advanced optical technologies add significant bandwidth scalability and intelligence to PLDT’s network infrastructure, allowing the carrier to offer 40G and 100G-based services to meet forecasted demand for high-speed service delivery, driven by an increase in data traffic from both fixed and wireless broadband.

OTN is a next-generation industry-standard network protocol that provides for the efficient transport of multiple types of legacy, real-time and Ethernet traffic over a converged optical network.

ROADM or reconfigurable optical add-drop multiplexer is a device that can add, block, pass or redirect modulated infrared (IR) and visible light beams of various wavelengths in a fiber optic network. ROADMs are used in systems that employ wavelength division multiplexing.

Ciena’s coherent optical technology will eliminate a significant number of network regenerators, thus lowering operational costs. Ciena’s switched OTN design will ensure improved network utilization, and the nine-way ROADMs will help to improve resiliency with the addition of new photonic routes.

The project entails installing new Ciena electronics in the nodes of our high-usage loops and connecting them to existing fibers.

PLDT is also deploying Ciena’s OneControl Unified Management System for centralized and multilayer network management as well as Ciena Specialist Services to help minimize implementation costs and ensure that the network is turned up efficiently and effectively.

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