ONI helps speed deployment of new circuit

ONI Systems Corp. this week said metro service provider Sphera Corp. was able to turn up a 10G bit/sec OC-192 SONET circuit for an unidentified carrier using ONI's optical transport gear.

This could be a significant development in that it usually takes months to turn up lower speed SONET circuits. If two weeks provisioning time becomes the norm 10G bit/sec, new high-speed services could soon become commonplace -- that is, if economic conditions improve.

Sphera claims it is also the first ring-based 10G bit/sec deployment.

Sphera provided the circuit to the carrier to connect two carrier hotels in New York. The carrier is using Sphera's existing dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM) metro ring, which is supplied by ONI.

Sphera is using ONI's ONLINE 7000 and 9000 transport boxes and OPTX management software. Sphera spent the last year evaluating gear from various vendors, including Nortel Networks Corp. and Ciena Corp., before selecting ONI.

The circuit was tested for two days before it was turned up on Aug. 27, says Rohit Sharma, founder and CTO of ONI. He estimates there are between six and 12 other circuits on the Sphera ring.

Charlie Berger, technical analyst for The Gilder Group, says the DWDM augmentation to Sphera's SONET ring is the key to the fast, disruption-free provisioning.

"It's important to understand that this deployment is a DWDM circuit that is running a SONET protocol," says Charlie Berger, technical analyst for The Gilder Group. "I think that ONI's success here should serve as a notice that it's all about wavelengths and WDM and flexibility. You can only do all that with optics. If this were a (pure) SONET system, you would have had to have done an entire forklift."

Berger also points out that the deployment took place while the carrier's system remained up and running.

"Nortel and Ciena would have had to shut down to make this type of upgrade," Berger says.

Separately, ONI announced a multi-million dollar agreement with international data service provider Equant.

Equant plans to use ONI's ONLINE 7000, 9000 and OPTX software to light fiber that it has purchased for local point-of-presence interconnects to its long-distance wavelengths. ONI has already begun deploying its equipment in the Equant network located in London and Paris.

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