Network carrier NTT America plans to make a considerable investment in networking equipment this year to accommodate expected growth in traffic. While that's standard fare for a carrier, the kind of traffic the telco is expecting is different.
NTT America is the U.S. division of Japanese service provider NTT Communications. Among their big networking routes is a trans-Pacific connection between Japan and the U.S., one that will be expanded in 2010 along with rest of NTT America's network.
"We're still holding the same growth pattern that we've seen for years and years now," Doug Junkins, NTT America's CTO and vice president of IP development told InternetNews.com. "No matter how much we grow, it seems like the next year we always grow 80 to 100 percent more."
The growth is not coming from new users joining the Internet at this stage either, as both the U.S. and Japan are relatively mature markets. Rather, Junkins noted, the traffic growth is coming from additional and higher quality content being delivered to existing Internet users.
"We see our trans-Pacific traffic growth in the range of 80 percent for 2010, for content coming from the U.S. and Europe going to Asia on our network," Junkins said. "At then end of this month, we'll have 320 Gbps of capacity and we'll see it growing to 500 Gbps or so by the end of year."
The trans-Pacific deployment is provisioned with underwater cables running across the floor of the Pacific Ocean, which limits the technologies that can be used.
"For the undersea capacity from the U.S. to Asia, all of those cable systems are too long to deploy 40 Gbps or 100 Gbps optical wavelengths, so we're limited to bundling 10 Gbps wavelengths on those paths on our network," Junkins said.
For NTT America's backbone in the U.S., the plan is to take advantage of emerging 100 Gbps technology. Numerous vendors including Nortel, Alcatel-Lucent, Cisco and Juniper have all made announcements about the pending deployments of 100 Gbps networking gear.
"We've been preparing for 100 Gbps for a while now and we have customers that would provision today if we could offer it to them," Junkins said. "We have deployed Juniper T1600 routers, and we've just finalized the selection for a next generation Ethernet platform that we'll start deploying this quarter that will be 100 Gbps capable as well."
Junkins noted that NTT America would be issuing a formal statement in the next month or so describing their 100 Gbps platform in greater detail.
From a financial perspective, NTT America's expansion means an increase in capital investment over 2009 levels. "I think our capital budget for 2010 is 20 or 30 percent higher than what we spent in 2009 we are investing in our network and making sure that our capacity continues to grow," Junkins said. "We don't see a slowdown in network traffic growth and we'll be investing money to make sure our network remains a top quality network for people to be able to rely on."