Uniti Dark Fiber Map in Florida

Uniti Group is expecting strong growth from a new offering launched yesterday called Wave Lease. Customers using the service can purchase their own transponders which, according to Uniti, provides a more cost-effective cost structure than traditional wavelength services and less operational complexity than dark fiber.

A Uniti spokesperson answered some questions about the offering from us via email.

“The Uniti Wave Lease product enables companies with large capacity demands (over 100G and up to 1, 2, 3 or more Terabits) to leverage the FlexGrid technology and ability to purchase their own transponders to maximize spectral efficiency and reduce their cost per bit over sourcing multiple traditional 100G Wavelengths,” the spokesperson explained.

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Uniti is expecting strong growth from the offering because the company “has received a significant amount of interest in the product from companies wanting to drive down their cost per bit and have greater control of their capacity growth needs,” the spokesperson added.

For now, the offering is available in portions of Uniti’s Florida network, but the company plans to make it a nationwide offering.

Ciena supplies the optical networking equipment that underlies Uniti wavelength offerings, but customers will be able to use transponders from a range of suppliers, the Uniti spokesperson said.

“Uniti’s open line system has been successfully tested and certified with a number of industry standard transponders through a proof-of-concept process,” he added.

As part of that process, the company also “ensured that it could control and protect against historic spectrum sharing issues, such as variable adjacent traffic patterns, overpowering or underpowering and traffic add/drops,” the email to Telecompetitor explained.

Uniti Network Map (Source: Uniti website)

While the Uniti Wave Lease offering might seem to add management complexity, the spokesperson said the company is “confident in its ability to monitor the customer input levels to their assigned spectral widths” and that it “has the visibility that is needed to operate the line system efficiently for all customers on the system.”

Customers will be able to manage their transponders based on the monitoring software provided by their OEM relationship.

For now, at least, Uniti has little or no competition for Wave Lease as the capabilities that it provides have not been widely productized, according to the company.

Uniti, originally known as Communications Sales and Leasing, is the company that was initially formed when Windstream spun out its copper and fiber assets into a real estate investment trust. Since then, the company has diversified by making additional acquisitions and deploying fiber infrastructure of its own.

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