We spend a lot of time talking about the growing amount of traffic that’s running over cellular networks, creating the need for expanded 4G networks and new 5G ones. But it’s important to remember the importance of the wireline network that creates the foundation for these cellular networks.
In an effort to fortify its wireline network in support of its 4G and 5G wireless efforts, Verizon Communications Inc. yesterday announced it will spend at least $1.05 billion on fiber optic cable and associated hardware from Corning Inc. Through the deal, Verizon will buy up to 12.4 million miles of optical fiber each year from 2018 through 2020 from Corning.
“Our plans identified a shortfall in fiber supply, and Verizon has been working with business teams to forecast demand and fill supply gaps with existing suppliers,” said Viju Menon, Verizon’s chief supply chain officer. “Securing the required volume of optical fiber and hardware solutions with Corning will ensure we meet our planned rollout schedules.”
Verizon has already been adding more fiber as part of its cellular effort. The company’s One Fiber work in Boston last year was its initial work on this front. Plans call for Verizon to invest $300 million to put more fiber throughout Beantown.
The optical space has been a rich one for innovation recently. For example, Facebook recently unveiled an open DWDM transport solution called Voyager that is shaking up the optical networking arena. And the company contributed the blueprint for Voyager to the networking community.
“As the amount of global internet bandwidth required continues to grow, there is major emphasis on how to efficiently deploy fiber both within and between urban and rural areas,” wrote Jay Parikh, global head of engineering and infrastructure at Facebook, in a November blog. “At Facebook, we believe that a key to efficiency is enabling open and unbundled solutions. To that end, our networking team has previously developed a series of projects aimed at breaking apart the hardware and software components of the data center network stack to open up more flexibility and accelerate innovation, as we previously did with our racks, servers, storage, and motherboards in the data center.”
Edited by Alicia Young