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DWDM: It’s Not Just For Carriers Anymore

Business Communications Review
D. E. Boehling

A quick search of the telecom trade press suggests that dense wave division multiplexing (DWDM) is old hat. However, while DWDM in the carrier backbone may be a pass, DWDM in a “private” network is hot. Here’s a peek at what large enterprise customers are doing with it and what you should consider if DWDM is a possibility for your enterprise.

DWDM allows data transmissions to be multiplexed across a single optical fiber in native LAN protocols (e.g., Ethernet, Fibre Channel, ESCON, OC-x) over different wavelengths or “lambdas.” For years, carriers have used DWDM in their backbone to increase bandwidth on existing facilities.

You may ask why enterprise user interest in DWDM has exploded over the past few years-particularly since 9/11. The reasons are many, but here are the two most often cited:

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