Wavelength Services for Bandwidth
Leasing a lambda rather than
SONET channels gives you more protocol and bandwidth options.
When we think of fiber optic carrier services,
it's generally in terms of lines and channels. Wavelength division
multiplexing has now added the option of leasing a lambda. A
lambda is one of many individual wavelengths or "colors"
being beamed down a fiber optic cable. It's like having a whole
fiber optic circuit to yourself, but for a LOT less investment
than trenching your own fiber network.
Wavelength Division Multiplexing
WDM or wavelength division multiplexing
turns a single laser beam in a fiber optic cable into many beams
sharing the same cable. The beams don't interfere because they
are at different wavelengths, like colors of the spectrum. Each
wavelength corresponds to a different carrier frequency in wireless
There are two flavors of WDM. CWDM or coarse
wavelength division multiplexing is less demanding technically
and provides 16 or so lambdas per cable. DWDM or dense wavelength
division multiplexing is more technically challenging and spaces
the individual wavelengths closer together. This gives typically
64 different lambdas and up to 80 or 100 lambdas, depending on
the optical multiplexing equipment available.
Now, here's what makes WDM exciting. Fiber
optic carrier services like OC3, OC12, OC48 and OC192 are based
on SONET Synchronous Optical NETwork standards. SONET provides
channels within a TDM based transmission scheme. Whatever you
want to transmit first has to be formatted and loaded into available
SONET channels, usually in ATM cells. At the other end, your
data is recovered and restored to its original format. There
is cost and inefficiency built into this process, including latency
and jitter. Plus, when the line capacity is reached, you're out
of channels and out of luck.
Do You Need A Lambda?
Lambdas are different. Buy a lambda and
you can send whatever you want down that wavelength regardless
of what other customers are doing with their lambdas. Some wavelengths
might be used for OC48 SONET. Others can directly transmit Gig-E
Ethernet signals or ATM, Frame Relay, Fibre Channel, or ESCON.
This is known as protocol independence. Use a different protocol
running natively on each lambda, and you don't have to worry
about how to make them work together. One lambda doesn't even
know the others exist.
Find Fiber Optic Bandwidth Services Now
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