Global Crossing to use Lucent All-Optical switch

Lucent Technologies yesterday signed an agreement with Global Crossing to help build a next-generation global optical network, connecting more than 200 cities on five continents and giving Global Crossing first use of new Lucent products.

The two-year preferred supplier agreement will make Global Crossing the first company to use Lucent's WaveStar LamdaRouter, which is the first commercially available, high-capacity, all-optical switch, according to a written statement from the companies. Global Crossing builds and operates a fibre-optic network based on IP (Internet Protocol).

The switch will initially route up to 256 individual signals, and will scale to handle 1,024 signals. This means that the network could route 40 times more information than currently travels the Internet worldwide each second, the statement said.

Global Crossing will also be the first to test the WaveStar OLS 800G 320 channel dense-wave division multiplexing (DWDM) system, which is capable of transmitting 800G bps (bits per second).

Global Crossing uses Lucent's optical equipment for most of its networking. Last month, the company announced it would use Lucent's systems for its network branches in Scandinavia and Spain.

Global Crossing will begin field trials of the LambdaRouter in June and begin providing customer service with the system by September.

The 320 channel DWDM system will be available commercially in the first quarter of 2001.

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