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The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has set a global standard for metro 'optical fiber' networks that w...

July 22, 2002  

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The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has set a global standard for metro ‘optical fiber’ networks that will expand the use of Coarse Wavelength Division Multiplexing (CWDM) in metropolitan networks. The ITU says this standard is necessary to meet the increasing demand of voice, data and multimedia services for low-cost short-haul optical transport solutions, and is expected to produce savings for telecom operators and consumers.

According to a recent report by Gartner DataQuest, the worldwide ‘optical metro network’ market will increase from US$1.1 billion in 2001 to US$4.3 billion by 2005. ITU says CWDM is poised to capture a substantial share of this market, and its applications are especially good for coverage of up to 50 kilometres.

“Where the distances are shorter and the need for capacity is less, CWDM applications are able to use wider channel spacing and less expensive equipment, yet achieve the same quality standards of long-haul optical fibre systems” says Peter Wery, Chairman of ITU-T Study Group 15.

“This agreed upon standard will be a stabilizing force for manufacturers of filters with wide channel spacing, for manufacturers of uncooled lasers with an expanded number of wavelengths, and for system manufacturers looking to offer low-cost short-haul optical transport solutions,” added Wery. “Taking all this together, a well-defined grid will increase the rate of CWDM product and market development.”

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