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Service providers around the world share concerns about running out of bandwidth. Business challenges surrounding continued bandwidth growth, linked to video, mobility, and cloud applications, are significant. Service providers also report declining revenue from a cost-per-bit perspective, so not only does the network need to grow, it also needs to grow more cost effectively. The Cisco Virtual Networking Index™ (Cisco VNI™) predicts that over 50 billion devices will be connected over these networks by 2020. The network effects of the Internet of Things, LTE mobility, and mobile video are just beginning to be understood. In a world where mobile device network additions are growing four times faster than the population, and machine-to-machine (M2M) device network additions are growing five times faster than mobile device additions, this problem is clearly becoming highly important and requires a good solution.

To solve this challenge, it’s best to deconstruct the problem. In the case of bandwidth growth, all the described services share some component of network connectivity. Network connectivity over the highest-bandwidth metro, regional, or core portions of networks requires dense wavelength-division multiplexing (DWDM) transport technology. This technology has primarily been deployed with 10G lambdas or channels, resulting in 10G scale and 10G price points. 10G technology has been an attractive solution as a result of investments during the previous technology boom. A more recent period of 100G investment, led by Cisco, is now producing higher scale, better performance, lower power consumption, smaller form factors, and compelling price points. This white paper describes each of these technological advances and how this 100G benefit in scale can even be accomplished with existing, fully depreciated, legacy 10G DWDM systems.