Murray Hill, N.J. -- Lucent Technologies today announced a breakthrough in the manufacturing of optical fiber which harnesses a previously untapped region in the fiber spectrum. This new process has led to the introduction of a revolutionary new optical fiber, called AllWaveTM Fiber, which provides 50 percent more usable wavelengths than today's conventional fiber.
Lucent said its new AllWave Fiber opens a new window in optical communications to enable service providers to cost-effectively deliver new services and data capabilities worldwide.
"As the innovator in the industry, Lucent is once again creating a new standard in communications," said Bill Spivey, president of Lucent's Network Products Group. "This breakthrough will help service providers deliver targeted, high-speed digital services, such as multimedia, Internet and video-on-demand -- more affordably than ever before -- to customers around the world." Lucent's AllWave fiber, currently in production in its Atlanta facility, is the industry's first fiber specifically designed for metropolitan networks.
In the manufacturing of fiber optics, there is always a certain amount of water that is retained in the glass fiber. Using a new ultra-purifying process being patented by Lucent, the company has been able to virtually eliminate water molecules in the glass fiber that had made some light regions in the fiber spectrum previously unusable. Lucent said its AllWave fiber provides 100 nanometers more bandwidth than conventional singlemode fiber. "As a result of this innovation, we are able to utilize virtually all of the fiber spectrum -- for the first time ever -- to provide a broader operating range for applications such as cable television and data-on-demand services," Spivey said.
To provide its customers with a complete optical networking solution, Lucent also announced it is developing a multi-application optical networking system called WaveStarTM All-MetroTM OLS. The WaveStar All-Metro OLS is a multi-terabit Dense Wave Division Multiplexing (DWDM) system being designed to specifically support the wider operating spectrum available through AllWave fiber.
Lucent said it plans to combine the two products into a new offering, called the All-Metro NetworkTM, which will give local service providers the ability to cost-effectively deliver up to hundreds of optical wavelengths simultaneously.
"With the tremendous growth in the Internet, there is an ever-growing need for even faster transmission speeds and greater network capacity," said Gerry Butters, president of Lucent's Optical Networking Group. "We've answered this need in the long distance arena with our TrueWave® Fiber and our new WaveStar offerings. Lucent is now stretching the limits of fiber capacity to unheard-of levels in the local network with our All-Metro Network offer."
With Lucent's All-Metro Network solution, cable companies could choose to utilize a broader range of the light spectrum for cable television distribution, while local telephone service providers could have the option of providing 10 gigabit-per-second (10 billion bits of information per second) data streams over longer distances for more cost-effective transmission. In addition, Butters said Lucent has tested 1400 nanometer lasers with AllWave Fiber, and expects to deliver AllMetro DWDM systems to customers in the third quarter 1999. Lucent is currently working with select customers to determine how best to use the new fiber spectrum to their advantage.
"As end-users around the world increasingly are able to obtain high-speed access through technologies such as DSL and cable modems, the need for multi-terabit metropolitan systems will become increasingly important," Butters added. "Carriers can begin today to take advantage of AllWave fiber by deploying standard 1300 or 1500 nanometer systems, such as Lucent's WaveStar family. We are very excited about the plans underway to dramatically extend into the full spectrum supported by AllWave with new capabilities in 1999."
Lucent's WaveStar optical solution recently was chosen as the optical platform to drive the planned, global undersea network, called Project OXYGENTM.Lucent Technologies was one of the first to demonstrate transmission of a trillion bits of data per second (more than all the world's Internet traffic) on a single strand of TrueWave fiber. AllWave fiber extends the capabilities of Lucent's fiber even further.
Lucent Technologies, the largest vertically integrated fiber-optic cable manufacturer in the world, has a long list of "firsts" in optical fiber technology. Bell Labs is responsible for such innovative fiber-optic technology inventions as the laser in 1958.
Lucent Technologies designs, builds and delivers a wide range of public and private networks, communications systems and software, business telephone systems and microelectronics components. Bell Labs is the research and development arm for the company. More information about Lucent Technologies, headquartered in Murray Hill, NJ, is available on its Web site at http://www.lucent.com.
The above story is based on materials provided by Bell Labs - Lucent Technologies. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.
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