ZTE's claims bragging rights with 200Tbps router

John Mazur and Matt Walker/Ovum
27 Oct 2009

ZTE, China’s second-largest telecom vendor, plans to take on market leaders Cisco and Juniper in the Internet core with its new ZXR10 T8000 router.

Claiming up to 2,048 interfaces of 40Gbps or 1,024 interfaces of 100Gbps interfaces with a switching capacity of up to 200Tbps each, ZTE states that a ZXR10 T8000 cluster will support high-speed network access to more than 1 million users simultaneously. ISPs should benefit from less expensive, higher-capacity broadband Internet infrastructure.

ZTE is moving beyond its former market positioning of “high value–good enough” to “biggest and fastest”, and competing vendors will need to accelerate product cycles accordingly.

Chinese vendors Huawei and ZTE have made great strides during this decade, buoyed by a massive Chinese telecoms infrastructure buildout of which they have been the main beneficiaries. Their success has been most dramatic in emerging markets, where cost-effectiveness and vendor financing are key buying criteria. However, both have had some big wins in developed markets; Huawei in particular with tier-one and tier-two carriers in Western Europe.

The T8000’s spec sheet indicates a unique and advanced product also incorporating home-grown silicon. While T8000 lab testing or field deployment feedback is still not available, the specifications are impressive. Cisco’s five-year-old CRS-1 maxes out at 92Tbps and Juniper’s T1600 with TX Plus Matrix at 25.6Tbps, compared to a fully equipped T8000 cluster at 200Tbps.

Similar to Juniper’s core router design, ZTE uses clustering to interconnect chassis which helps keeps initial deployment costs low while extending service life, avoiding the “today’s core is tomorrow’s edge” issue as bandwidth grows.

ZTE also claims substantial energy savings from intelligent power supplies and fans that respond to traffic conditions. ZTE’s T8000 will compete with Cisco’s CRS-1, Juniper’s T series and Huawei’s NE5000. While datasheet comparisons show the T8000 in a favorable light, comparative testing data is not yet available.

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