Windstream Wholesale and Colt drive partnership forward with successful 400G managed spectrum trial


Windstream Wholesale, a leading provider of advanced optical solutions, and Colt Technology Services, a leading provider of high bandwidth and on-demand connectivity, recently solidified their technology partnership by successfully trialing an optical spectrum solution, whereby Colt leveraged the Windstream Flex grid open line system between Chicago and Ashburn, Va., to build a 600G wavelength using their own coherent transmission system. Colt leveraged the Windstream-provided managed spectrum to deliver multiple 100GE and 400GE services, traversing nearly 1800 Kms between the business hubs.


Leveraging technologies embedded within its Intelligent Converged Optical Network (ICON) architecture, Windstream was able to demonstrate the advantages of its disaggregated network architecture, multi-vendor open line system scalability, and alien wave support. As part of the ICON functionality, Windstream also presented key performance metrics of the transmission network, a concept known as Layer Zero Analytics, through Windstream Wholesale’s customer portal. By providing these kinds of self-diagnostic metrics, customers are able to independently plan coherent wavelength deployments, self-diagnose service performance and assess the health of the network 24 x 7, as if they were the owner/operator of the open optical line system.


“This trial between Colt and Windstream saw Colt being able to deliver 400G and multiple 100G services over a 600G wavelength using our next-gen transmission system and Windstream’s spectrum offering in a fully integrated way,” said Vivek Gaur, Vice President – Network Engineering, for Colt. “Colt has been investing in its high bandwidth, agile, on-demand network – the Colt IQ Network – for many years. We have extensive experience in successfully delivering spectrum solutions for our customers in Europe – however, this successful trial using Windstream spectrum opens the possibility of building out a 100G capable US backbone network. We are also excited for what this trial means for our future collaboration with Windstream, as Colt actively pursues innovation and investment in technology trials to drive potential partnerships – so, we look forward to working together more.”


Since the launch of its IQ Network in 2016, Colt has continued to drive innovation in next-generation optical networking via an extensive program of investment, testing and deployment of leading-edge technologies. Today, the Colt IQ Network is comprised of more than 29,000 on-net buildings and over 900 data centers, making it a truly global network which powers today’s rapid and ongoing digital transformations. Colt’s wide service portfolio delivers a consistent experience between Europe, Asia and North America over a common platform and technology, which makes it possible for enterprises to thrive wherever they operate globally.


“This first foray into managed spectrum by Windstream Wholesale demonstrates the flexibility of our ICON network and the technology’s exciting potential for domestic terrestrial networks,” said Buddy Bayer, chief network officer for Windstream. “It’s another step in Windstream’s ongoing and carefully planned network architectural strategy that leverages the benefits of fundamental design principles of disaggregation, openness, flexibility and network intelligence. As always, the ultimate goal is to meet our customers’ expanding need for high-capacity bandwidth in the most efficient manner for years to come.


“We see this as a foundational milestone in the technology partnership between Colt and Windstream. Looking forward, we envision more groundbreaking collaborations in the arena of open and disaggregated intercarrier services between these two industry leading companies,” Bayer said.

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