Light Reading

Raman Heats Up

Dan O'Shea
3/14/2014
50%
50%

Raman optical amplification technology has been around for more than a decade, but OFC 2014 found vendors in the mood to talk about how they are noodling with Raman. More important, service providers appear to be noodling with it, too.

At OFC this week, Ciena Corp. (NYSE: CIEN) announced Smart Raman amplifiers with built-in optical time domain reflectometer software to automate pre-activation testing and turn up, improving on previous manual installation processes. Also, JDSU (Nasdaq: JDSU; Toronto: JDU) announced new Raman pump lasers with lower, more cost-efficent power consumption. (See Ciena Unveils WaveLogic Photonics and JDSU Preps Optical Components, Test Gear for OFC.)

Along with Ciena's Wavelogic Photonics and PinPoint fiber analytics capabilities, the vendor's Raman amplification recently helped Comcast achieve 1 Tbit/s performance over 1,000 km "That was over average fiber, not anything special, just what's already in the ground," says Mike Adams, vice president of product and technical marketing at Ciena.

However, if there is a master chef of Raman noodling, it might be Xtera Communications Inc. , which earned patents for the technology back in 2002. At OFC 2014, Raman was key to Xtera's demonstration of unrepeatered 100G over a distance of 500 km. The vendor also touted a trial late last year in which Verizon used the technology, and also is celebrating the 10-year anniversary of its first commercial deployment of its Wise Raman offering (See Xtera to Demo Unrepeatered 100G at OFC, Xtera Gets Raman Patents.)

Wise Raman? Smart Raman? If it's so brilliant, why has it taken so long to make it to center stage?

In reality, Raman technology has been a topic interest and debate in the optical sector for many years. As the industry has continually upped its performance and distance ambitions for both long-haul and metro optical transmission, Raman has been seen by some as a more powerful alternative to erbium-doped fiber amplifiers, although also as a compliment to EDFAs in so-called hybrid amplifiers. However, Raman amps were very expensive in the early going, and have been widely perceived as having operational challenges, such as being difficult to install. In any case, the early market excitement about Raman amps stalled during the first half of the last decade, along with the broader market for optical amplifiers and components. (See Raman Amps: Key to Optical Future and Report: Slow Ramp for Optical Amps.)

"Raman has traditionally had a bad name in the industry," Adams says. "It's much simpler now to use this capability, and because we can collect more information from the fiber, we can do more analytics. You go longer at 16 QAM, because now you know where you might have problems on the fiber."

— Dan O'Shea, Managing Editor, Light Reading


Want to learn more about SDN and the transport network? Check out the agenda for Light Reading's Big Telecom Event (BTE), which will take place on June 17 and 18 at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel and Towers. The event combines the educational power of interactive conference sessions devised and hosted by Heavy Reading's experienced industry analysts with multi-vendor interoperability and proof-of-concept networking and application showcases. For more on the event, the topics, and the stellar service provider speaker lineup, see Telecommunication Luminaries to Discuss the Hottest Industry Trends at Light Reading's Big Telecom Event in June.


(5)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Bo Gowan
50%
50%
Bo Gowan,
User Rank: Lightning
3/17/2014 | 5:22:33 PM
Re: Who and How Much?
Nice article, not often Raman gets a turn in the spotlight. For @Daniel and others where this is a new topic, here's a related blog post I wrote that goes into the why and how of these new types of Smart Raman solutions.  

http://www.ciena.com/connect/blog/Cienas-new-Smart-Raman-amplification-provides-Raman-gain-without-the-pain.html 

Not only is Raman more important for longer spans (long haul), but also as you get to higher transport speeds like 400G where new technologies like 16QAM play havoc on possible span distances and you need to squeeze every kilometer possible out of a link.
danielcawrey
50%
50%
danielcawrey,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/17/2014 | 1:44:16 PM
Re: Who and How Much?
There's obviously a value in doing this, as adding capacity infrastructure-wise is not easy. Amplification is a market that could see a lot of growth going forward. Until now, I had never heard of Raman.

But it seems like they having been striving to get their technology out there for some time. 
DOShea
50%
50%
DOShea,
User Rank: Blogger
3/15/2014 | 9:38:04 PM
Re: Who and How Much?
Yes, the primary opportunity is in long-haul and metro, and not in access. Nortel in fact was one of the major players cultivating Raman roughly 10-15 years ago.
MarkC73
50%
50%
MarkC73,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/15/2014 | 9:27:50 AM
Re: Who and How Much?
Agree on the how much part, but typically these things aren't used in the access, but in the backhaul where the Tier 1s are already push multiple 100G and the larger Tier 2s as well.  When going between cities/states or long distances, you'll either need amplification or regeneration or both.

Granted when you hear the name Ciena you think metro, but let's not forget they bought off the Nortel assets that included their longhaul DWDM technologies.

Cheers,
jabailo
50%
50%
jabailo,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/14/2014 | 5:05:05 PM
Who and How Much?
The problem for a solution like this is going to be who uses it and how much are they willing to pay for it.

So you've got optical fiber, which is already very fast, 20Mpbs, 40Mbps, 80Mbps at least in my neighborhood, and who is using it?    Now you're promoting a way to make a fast (but maybe little used) thing faster?

Nipping at your heels are the wireless broadband 5G services.   After you spend all your time going around upgrading optical routers, I suddenly unleash a new algorithm that brings up my speeds to say, 500 Mpbs.  But since I don't have all these wires to manage, I reduce my prices way below yours.   

Still want fiber?  Well, Google is going to give you it for free in many cities.  They are talking about making Old Fiber, 20Mpbs, available for nothing and get people to pay for their version of 1 Gpbs.    I know, that this technology is much faster, but when you're trying to eat one hamburger, you're not going to be attracted to 1000 hamburgers.

 
From The Founder
Against the odds, Huawei is growing its telecoms networking equipment business in the US -- that should be ringing some alarm bells for domestic vendors.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
Between the CEOs
Metaswitch's New CEO Martin Lund Discusses His Role

9|2|15   |   11:27   |   (2) comments


Technology industry veteran Martin Lund joins Metaswitch Networks this week as the company's new CEO. In this interview, Lund discusses his new role and the industry's progress with Light Reading CEO Steve Saunders. Lund believes that the industry disruption caused by SDN and NFV is creating opportunities for companies like Metaswitch – network software providers ...
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Nominum on Leveraging the Power of DNS to Deliver Superior Subscriber Experiences

9|2|15   |   07:13   |   (0) comments


Nominum CEO Gary Messiana talks about the challenges service providers face in competing for a much more sophisticated customer, a customer that has heightened expectations for more personalized and compelling digital experiences. Providers are focusing their efforts on delivering higher value subscriber services, retaining their existing customers and increasing ...
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Jeff Miller, ActiveVideo

8|28|15   |   19:05   |   (0) comments


Jeff Miller, President and CEO of ActiveVideo, talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the impact of virtualization on the TV and video distribution market.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Vodafone: Mobile Money Is About Customer Trust

8|27|15   |   06.36   |   (0) comments


Light Reading spoke with Vodafone's Ian Ravenscroft about the unique responsibilities and opportunities facing operators handling customers' financial transactions over the network.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Palo Alto Networks on Expanding in the Carrier/Service Provider Market

8|26|15   |   07:54   |   (0) comments


Alfred Lee from Palo Alto Networks tells Steve Saunders about their new chassis-based system, the PA-7080, and how it can benefit service providers compared to legacy firewalls.
LRTV Custom TV
Global Services Forum Preview

8|25|15   |   02:36   |   (0) comments


Light Reading's CEO and Founder Steve Saunders talks about Huawei's upcoming Global Services Forum with the help of Heavy Reading's Patrick Donegan and Teresa Mastrangelo.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Infoblox on DNS Threat Index

8|19|15   |   04:39   |   (0) comments


Dilip Pillaipakam from Infoblox talks to Steve Saunders about his company's core network services.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Ihab Tarazi, Equinix

8|14|15   |   20:18   |   (1) comment


Equinix CTO Ihab Tarazi talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the dramatic changes in the data center, cloud and interconnect markets and discusses the impact of SDN and NFV in the coming years.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
The Netformx Ecosystem

8|14|15   |   09:39   |   (1) comment


Ittai Bareket, CEO of Netformx, talks with Steve Saunders about the Netformx Ecosystem, which employs cutting-edge prescriptive analytics to help solution providers maximize profits.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Versa Networks on Leveraging VNFs

8|12|15   |   07:37   |   (0) comments


Kumar Mehta, founder and CEO of stealth mode startup Versa Networks, talks with Steve Saunders about how providers can best leverage virtualized network functions (VNFs).
LRTV Custom TV
Transforming the Network Through OPNFV

8|5|15   |   7:09   |   (0) comments


Sandra Rivera, VP Data Center Group; GM Network Platforms Group, Intel Corporation, on OPNFV Arno and how the industry is coming together to accelerate the deployment of NFV and transform the network.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei ONS Product Demo

8|3|15   |   6:01   |   (0) comments


Huawei shows at Open Networking Summit 2015 in Santa Clara how its SDN and NFV solutions embrace openness.
Upcoming Live Events
September 16-17, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 16, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 16, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 14-15, 2015, New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, LA
November 5, 2015, Hilton Santa Clara, Santa Clara, CA
November 17, 2015, Santa Clara, California
December 1, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 2, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Cisco's cloud and virtualization portfolio can increase business agility and innovation by building a more flexible network architecture.
Hot Topics
T-Mobile CEO Plays Data Traffic Cop
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 8/31/2015
CEO Chat With Bill Gates
Steve Saunders, CEO and founder, Light Reading, 8/31/2015
Time to Monetize Cable WiFi
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 8/31/2015
New Apple TV: More $$, Not Content – Report
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 8/31/2015
Ex-AlcaLu Boss Tasked With Bolstering Altice
Iain Morris, News Editor, 9/1/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
September 16, 2015
Wi-Fi First or Second?
September 22, 2015
Media Begins With “Me”
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Technology industry veteran Martin Lund joins Metaswitch Networks this week as the company's new CEO. In this interview, Lund discusses his new role and the industry's progress with Light Reading CEO Steve Saunders. Lund believes that the industry disruption caused by SDN and NFV is creating opportunities for companies like Metaswitch – network software providers with the agility to embrace new technologies quickly and the ability to deliver on substantial projects for global network operators.
The scene: Last Saturday, lunchtime, the interior of a shi-shi-foo-foo eatery in Manhattan's SoHo district.
Cats with Phones
It's a New Age... Click Here
When smartphones replace stuffed animals.