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Wavelength Service Advantages
Consider wavelengths if you need especially high bandwidth, security and flexibility.

By: John Shepler

What do you do when you have a need for high bandwidth, security and flexibility in your WAN connections? This may be the time to take a closer look at wavelength services.

Comparing Bandwidth Services
What tradeoffs should you do to ensure that you’re getting the right bandwidth for your operation? Certainly, there is the protocol competition between the dedicated point to point line services provided by SONET/SDH and Ethernet over Fiber. Both will get your packets from point A to point B, but you may find that locations lit for EoF have access to much higher bandwidths for the same lease price or a cost savings if you don’t need a BW upgrade.

Protocol Considerations
One important consideration is the protocol that you wish to transport. Ethernet is easiest to connect and most efficient over Ethernet WAN services. SONET/SDH is designed for TDM, but can also support packet switched networks. The waters have been muddied lately by the addition of Ethernet over SONET that gives you Ethernet services running on mature SONET fiber optic networks.

Lit vs Dark Fiber
Another tradeoff worth doing is lit fiber vs dark fiber. Wavelengths are a lit fiber service. They are fully managed in the sense that the carrier provides the fiber path plus the terminal equipment that accepts and delivers your traffic. You don’t need to be concerned about the inner workings of the network because the carrier takes care of that for you.

Dark Fiber Advantages
The big advantages of dark fiber are improved security, since you are providing the terminal equipment at each end of the fiber, and the ability to create your own wavelengths. You’ll need to invest in the CWDM (Coarse Wavelength Division Multiplexing) or DWDM (Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing) equipment. By doing that, you can have as many wavelengths as you wish, each running a different protocol. You can even multiplex wavelengths to create higher bandwidth pipes.

Best Solution?
What is the right connectivity solution for your needs? Get expert recommendations on fiber optic wavelength services now.

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