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GUEST VIEW: 100G makes inroads across ASEAN

Luigi Castelli | Oct. 14, 2013
If 2012 proved to be the peak year for 40G shipments worldwide, led by demand in Japan and China, this year is shaping up as a take off point for 100G optical networks.

Developing economies in ASEAN such as Indonesia are also catching up fast. The booming economy is fuelling demand for higher speed internet connections.

Indonesia is ASEAN's third-largest market in population; however, it's only the sixth-largest telecom service market in the region, signifying ample room for growth. It's biggest challenge is geography; Indonesia spans more than 17,000 islands with over 200 million people.

When building out 100G coherent fibre networks, service providers need to ensure 100G signals can achieve good OSNR (Optical Signal-To-Noise Ratio) margins over a long span covering both terrestrial and submarine segments.

Key service providers in Indonesia, such as Moratel, XL and Indosat, are working with vendors who can provide E2E 100G solutions in both segments.

In addition, building a network infrastructure that can serve a wide territory cost-efficiently and effectively is far from easy from a technical and cost-effectiveness perspective.  Nevertheless, Indonesia's telecom market is experiencing significant expansion, advancing at one of the highest rates in the region.

This is driven by strong cellular network expansion as mobile was the first available access method and is well suited to Indonesia's island geography. Government intends to increase broadband penetration from 2 percent in 2010 to 30 percent by 2014, and has been taking action to support this policy, including launching an all IP national fibre backbone led by PT Telkom, Indosat and Bakri, that will connect most of the archipelago.

To ensure the superfast backbone (e.g. 100G DWDM) can be used effectively and cost-efficiently, PT Telkom has also decided to adopt OTN grooming technology which can be integrated into an existing DWDM network.

100G technology provides an indisputable advantage in both CAPEX and OPEX versus traditional 10G networking. Telekom Indonesia, for example, is deploying a 100G network to serve customers in Kalimantan, Sulawesi and Jakarta, an area that generates 50 percent of the company's data traffic. This will provide high capacity to the operator while cost-efficiently and effectively meeting user demand for sophisticated and high-bandwidth mobile services, including video, multimedia and other data-intensive applications.

Now Telekom Indonesia can support a capacity of up to 8.8 terabits per second, the equivalent of 1.32 million HDTV channels streamed at the same time—over a single optical fibre—so the dreams of Indonesian HD-TV operators and audiences may soon be within reach.

Even though 100G has OPEX advantages compared to 10G (100G equivalent capacity only requires maintaining a single wavelength rather than 10 waves running at 10G), many service providers, especially in developing economies have postponed a move to 100G until prices come down and a significant market consensus emerges on the way forward.

That time has now come in Asia Pacific. Despite these considerations the Asia Pacific has reached a critical point that where a bandwidth tsunami could hit and swallow us at any minute. Asia Pacific's telecom market sometimes evolves faster than North America or European markets; operators who fail to jump on the bandwagon in time may seriously affect their service level and competitiveness in future.


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