Featuring Guest Blogger: Craig Pasek, Product Manager, Transceiver Modules Group



Cisco’s QSFP-100G-ZR4-S pluggable module

Data-intensive applications like streaming video, cloud computing, and 5G wireless are triggering massive increases in bandwidth demand even in remote areas. To keep up, service providers and network operators need to upgrade existing 10G networks with mature 100G optics. 100G QSFP28 pluggable modules are already in broad deployment across reaches from 100m to 40km. The problem is that traditional 100G QSFP28 modules are not designed to operate beyond 40km distance.

Previously, organizations wanting to upgrade their 80km 10G links had to either add external amplifiers (and possibly repeater huts) to their 40km 100G QSFP28 solutions or use coherent transport systems. Both approaches increased cost and complexity. For enterprises, service providers, telcos, and wireless carriers operating in remote areas, those solutions don’t fit the business case—but neither does continuing to invest in 10G links.

These network operators have been waiting for a cost-effective 100G QSFP28 module capable of operating up to 80km distances. Today, the wait is finally over.

With an advanced design incorporating an integrated semiconductor optical amplifier (SOA), Cisco’s QSFP-100G-ZR4-S modules provide a simple and economical 100G solution for a variety of extended-range applications requiring 80km reaches. Rather than installing or leasing new fiber to meet demand, network operators can upgrade existing 10G modules to the QSFP-100G-ZR4-S to gain a huge bandwidth boost and reduce cost per bit. Often times there is an unused 100G QSFP28 port available on existing equipment. The additional capacity enables operators to dramatically upgrade their offerings, bringing in new revenue streams. They can do this while , transforming their network and cutting costs.

QSFP-100G-ZR4-S equips network operators to dramatically upgrade their networks.

The QSFP-100G-ZR4-S in action

The QSFP-100G-ZR4-S addresses several application areas:

  • Enterprise: From retail to manufacturing, healthcare to remote offices, today’s enterprises require high-speed connectivity to link facilities across increasing distances. With its extended reach, the QSFP-100G-ZR4-S provides greater flexibility to build a network that best suits the business.
  • Connecting to a regional data center: To reduce IT operating costs, businesses are offloading applications to the cloud. With the QSFP-100G-ZR4-S, organizations can reliably transmit more data across high speed links to data centers over distances of up to 80km.
  • Rural broadband: As service providers expand access to under-served and unserved rural communities, the 80km reach of the QSFP-100G-ZR4-S provides an effective solution for remote regions where distance, power, cost, and space are key factors.
  • Mobile: With the rollout of 5G, wireless providers need 100G links to aggregate 4G and 5G traffic. QSFP-100G-ZR4-S modules deliver, offering long enough reach to serve distant decentralized locations at reaches up to 80km.


Cisco’s broad portfolio of 100G optical modules provides network operators and service providers with a comprehensive solution for their networking needs. With the new QSFP-100G-ZR4-S pluggable module, they can get a 10X capacity boost for even their 80km 10G links. Enterprises, service providers, and wireless operators can use these modules to transform their networks by repurposing fibers or stop leasing them entirely. The result is a high-performance, cost-efficient network that enables organizations to upgrade their customer offerings and in doing so, enhance their businesses.

Find out how the QSFP-100G-ZR4-S can help you transform your network offerings. Contact your local Cisco representative.


Further reading


Pat Chou

Product Manager

Service Provider - Transceiver Modules Group