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Windstream partners with Coherent, Nokia for industry first in 400 Gig networking

Achieves 400 Gig Open ZR+, 0 dBm TX Power, high-performance QSFP-DD full router integration

Windstream Wholesale, a leading provider of fast and flexible solutions, along with its partners Coherent Corp. (Nasdaq: COHR) and Nokia, today announced it has completed full integration of the 400 Gig, 0 dBm QSFP-DD Pluggable into the generally available Nokia 7250 IXR X1 and 7250 IXR-X3 routers. The integrated solution is ready for full commercial deployment, accelerating Windstream’s ICON and ICON-Edge network strategy. The result is a best-in-class flexible option for both high-power coherent optics support in combination with the services delivery needed for metro aggregation.

Windstream announced in October 2021 co-development with Coherent (formerly II-VI) of the world’s first high performance 0 dBm, 400G QSFP-DD coherent pluggable module – making these transceivers compatible with existing and emerging modern ROADM-based photonic layers supporting multi-service, multi-layer, open and interoperable architectures.

This major milestone represents a significant inflection point in high capacity, optical and packet networks. Key benefits include:

  • A direct technical path for IP-over-DWDM with ROADM-based photonic layers, extending the application space beyond simple point-to-point DCI style networks.
  • High-performance 0 dBm, 400G QSFP-DD coherent pluggable modules that provide widespread compatibility with existing and emerging modern ROADM-based photonic layers supporting multi-service, multi-layer architectures.
  • A significant reduction in capex and opex by eliminating intermediate DCI-style boxes, allowing for direct insertion of high-performance coherent optics into current 400G-enabled routers. This is enabled by Nokia’s 7250 IXR-X1 and 7250 IXR-X3 platforms running SR OS.
  • An important increase in 400G transceiver density, drastically reducing the size and power demands of 400G pluggables relative to sled-based and even CFP2-based solutions.
  • Adherence to Windstream’s philosophy of open and interoperable standards for both packet and optical designs.
  • An increase in overall network reliability and availability.

“This announcement demonstrates Windstream’s technology leadership in the evolution of both optical and packet networking,” said Art Nichols, chief technology officer for Windstream Enterprise and Wholesale. “Windstream’s ability to manage everything from the base science technology through system integration is key to achieving new architectural breakthroughs. Coherent and Nokia have been outstanding partners throughout the development process.”

“It’s been exciting to work with Windstream and Nokia at the frontier of high-speed transmission technology, transforming proprietary line cards into standardized pluggable transceivers that are much easier to provision on Nokia’s routers and deploy in Windstream’s network,” said Matthias Berger, vice president, Coherent Technology, Coherent Corp. “With our three-way collaboration, we were able to develop in record time a seamless interface between the transceiver and the router enabling a rich set of features that Windstream can begin leveraging right from the very first deployment. It’s personally exciting to see such compact 400 Gbps pluggable coherent transceiver technology come to fruition on the way to 1 Tbps and beyond.”

“Nokia is proud to partner with Windstream on its successful deployment of 0 dBm 400ZR+ coherent optics on the Nokia 7250 IXR-X1 and 7250 IXR-X3 routing platforms and SR OS operating system,” said Juan Rodriguez, senior director, IP Consulting Engineering at Nokia. “This significantly expands the scope for coherent routing applications and provides another great proof point of the leading IP-optical network design capabilities that Nokia can bring to Windstream and the larger market.”

Windstream’s Intelligent Converged Optical Network (ICON) provides open and disaggregated networking infrastructure, enabling wholesale and enterprise technology customers to select unique custom routes, maintain operational insights with Windstream’s Network Intelligence functions, and place their networks closer to the edge to better serve end-users.

About Windstream

Windstream Holdings is a privately held communications and software company. Windstream Wholesale is an innovative optical technology leader that creates deep partnerships with carriers, content and media providers, federal government agencies and Fortune 100 companies to deliver fast and flexible, customized wave and transport solutions. Additional information is available at or Follow us on Twitter at @Windstream.

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Category: Wholesale


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