Bandwidth-intensive data services and applications have been driving continued demands for service providers to architect their networks for growth and flexibility. Client traffic from large bandwidth users such as hyperscale data centers has now reached 400G, thanks to recently introduced 400G port switches, routers and standardized 400G coherent optical modules. However, supporting 400G client traffic across multiple network segments can be a challenge if network operator legacy equipment is unable to address these data rates in an efficient, scalable, and cost-effective manner.

Network operators surveying both terminal and line-system equipment to address this new 400G “currency” paradigm are looking ahead to ensure a certain level of cost-effective future proofing for higher capacity demands as client speeds increase beyond 400G. This article examines how recent advancements in terminal equipment coherent technology and line-system channel capabilities help them achieve that goal.

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