& cplSiteName &

Cable Has a PIC Opportunity, Reckons Infinera

Carol Wilson
3/27/2014
50%
50%

DENVER -- Cable Next-Gen Technologies & Strategies -- Faced with the same challenges as their telecom rivals, cable operators are looking for advanced ways to add bandwidth to their optical transport systems in a cost-effective way, and to protect that bandwidth in a way that doesn't eat up resources unnecessarily, two Infinera executives said here today.

At a packed-house breakfast panel sponsored by Infinera, Gaylord Hart, director of the vendor's MSO market segment business, and Yalin Wang, senior director of product planning, laid out at least one future option: a network built on photonic integrated circuit (PIC) technology and shared mesh protection of the optical transport network. That setup, Infinera says, can help cable operators add and protect bandwidth more cost effectively.

The cost of adding bandwidth is a critical issue for network operators, Hart said. At least traditionally, the revenue from selling bandwidth doesn't increase at the same pace as demand and consumption of that bandwidth. This fact makes it essential to protect margins by introducing greater efficiencies.

The common approach of adding 100G transponders to the network doesn't scale to meet today's demands, he said. Using PICS, it is possible to create a single 500 Gbit/s superchannel using fewer components. "We can come up with a relatively compact line module that supports a 1 Tbit/s, 10-carrier superchannel line card based on PIC," Hart said. The non-PIC option for scaling capacity to 1 Tbit/s levels, such as a 1 Tbit/s transponder; that is about eight years off.

The next generation of superchannels will be implemented in a new way, he said. Instead of using the ITU-approved approach, which creates a guard band between each of 10x100 Gbit/s wavelengths (essentially wasting about 50% of the fiber capacity), the next generation will use FlexGrid channels, which places 10 carriers closer together, treating them as a single entity and deploying only two guard bands, one on each end of the 1 Tbit/s signal.

When it comes to protecting the optical networks, Wang said, fiber cuts remain the single biggest problem. Construction is causing the majority of those cuts – even though not-so-friendly squirrels do their share of damage. In the US, there are still 100 fiber cuts daily, but in developing countries, there is one fiber cut every minute.

In traditional fiber networks, such as those built using Sonet-based technology, the fiber is protected by a one-to-one ratio of working to backup fiber, and the restoration threshold is traditionally 50 milliseconds. That's a hard time to match with coherent technology, which lets optics travel farther without regeneration but also creates slower recovery times, Wang said.

"A new ITU standard is emerging, G.808.3 or G.SMP, that creates a shared protection path to be used by two working paths that don't share the same risk," he said. "In the case of a failure, the network sends a message to wake up the pre-planned protection path."

According to Infinera, this standard uses OTN switching for shared protection at the transport layer to achieve the 50 ms switchover at a lower cost in coherent optical environments.

He also made a strong argument for the cable industry to examine the potential of doing recovery at the optical transport network layer, not at the IP/MPLS layer. The IP/MPLS layer can detect network failures and route around issues, but that approach results in a lot of traffic bouncing from router to router and using up costly router ports. OTN restoration can be the first line of defense in a more cost-effective approach to the critical issue of restoration.

— Carol Wilson, Editor-at-Large, Light Reading

(5)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
pcharles09
50%
50%
pcharles09,
User Rank: Light Beer
3/30/2014 | 12:28:28 PM
Re: MSO market
They've probably had a lot of headaches dealing with them since the cable compaines have the upper hand in negotiations.
Carol Wilson
50%
50%
Carol Wilson,
User Rank: Blogger
3/30/2014 | 11:02:11 AM
Re: MSO market
According to Infinera, there are cable companies in their pipeline, albeit not ready to announce yet. And given where the industry is going competitively, they may not be able to announce them even after they are under contract.

One thing that was very clear at last Thursday's Light Reading cable event in Denver is that the technologists in the cable industry are laser-focused (pardon the pun) on beefing up broadband bandwidth for the many markets they serve,  including business, mobile backhaul and consumer. 
DOShea
50%
50%
DOShea,
User Rank: Blogger
3/30/2014 | 9:01:42 AM
MSO market
Wondering how much success Infinera has had with the cable guys up to this point. They had a deal with a small operator - Service Electric - not long ago, but there may still be much work to do.
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
3/27/2014 | 5:51:15 PM
Bandwidth
For consumer Internet service, users pay the same flat rate no matter how much bandwidth they use. That's been a constraint on improving bandwidth for networks. Cost-cutting measures like these can help improve that equation. 
RGRU
50%
50%
RGRU,
User Rank: Light Beer
3/27/2014 | 4:13:09 PM
Sounds like the 1Tbit/s PIC is ready
And the company is trying to motivate some demand for it.  Surely the web scale companies would want it.
From The Founder
Following a recent board meeting, the New IP Agency (NIA) has a new strategy to help accelerate the adoption of NFV capabilities, explains the Agency's Founder and Secretary, Steve Saunders.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Interviews
BT's McRae Sheds Light on 4K Strategy

5|25|17   |   4:45   |   (0) comments


At Light Reading's Big Communications Event 2017 in Austin, Texas, BT Group's Chief Network Architect Neil McRae talks about what it took for BT to broadcast live sports in 4K. Catch up with all our BCE coverage at http://www.lightreading.com/bce.asp.
From the Founder
How the NIA Aims to Advance NFV

5|25|17   |   08:07   |   (0) comments


Following a recent board meeting, the New IP Agency (NIA) has a new strategy to help accelerate the adoption of NFV capabilities, explains the Agency's Founder and Secretary, Steve Saunders.
LRTV Custom TV
Better Solutions That Address Growing Scale

5|25|17   |     |   (0) comments


For Comcast, the X1 rollout and 17-fold increases in broadband speeds in the past 16 years are among factors driving the need for Energy 2020 solutions that reduce cost and consumption, says Mark Hess.
LRTV Custom TV
Ethernity Network Delivers Instant Offloading of Network Functions With All-Programmable Intelligent NIC

5|25|17   |     |   (0) comments


David Levi, CEO of Ethernity Networks, explains that programmability of the hardware makes the company's All-Programmable Intelligent NIC uniquely beneficial for communications service providers that need advanced data appliances with agile support of virtualization. Utilizing the company's patented network processing technology, Ethernity offers data path ...
LRTV Documentaries
BCE 2017: Vodafone Gets Obsessed With Cloud-Native

5|25|17   |     |   (0) comments


Vodafone's Matt Beal updates us on Project Ocean and explains why simple virtualization isn't enough of a goal for network transformation. Catch up with other BCE 2017 keynotes and news at http://www.lightreading.com/bce.asp.
LRTV Documentaries
BCE 2017: Intel's Take on Network Transformation

5|24|17   |     |   (0) comments


In this BCE 2017 keynote, Lynn Comp discusses Intel's vision for areas such as analytics, automation and service assurance. For more videos and BCE coverage, see http://www.lightreading.com/bce.asp.
LRTV Documentaries
Order From Chaos: The Steve Saunders BCE Keynote

5|24|17   |   17:27   |   (0) comments


Kicking off BCE 2017, Light Reading founder Steve Saunders lays blame for NFV's slow ramp-up and urges telecom to return to old-fashioned standards building and interoperability testing.
Think of this as the video sequel to the recent columns he's written about NFV and the prospect of a telecom app store. (See

LRTV Documentaries
Service Provider Panel: Partnering in the Digital Era

5|22|17   |     |   (0) comments


Coopetition has always been part of telecom, but the ecosphere now includes data centers, vendors, apps developers, cloud service providers and Internet content providers. This BCE 2017 panel explores the new attitudes among network operators as to the value and variety of ...
LRTV Interviews
Site Demo: AT&T's IoT Flow Platform

5|19|17   |   04:25   |   (0) comments


At AT&T's R&D center in Tel Aviv, Israel, project leader Eyal Segev talks about the operator's Flow platform and how it helps to prototype IoT applications.
LRTV Documentaries
Agent of Change: A Q&A With AT&T's John Donovan

5|18|17   |     |   (0) comments


Carol Wilson talks with the man leading AT&T's transformation efforts about the challenge of change.
LRTV Documentaries
BCE Service Provider Panel: The New Business Realities

5|18|17   |     |   (0) comments


For virtualization to happen, the telecom industry first has to grapple with key functional aspects of SDN and NFV that need to be universal, such as onboarding of virtualized network functions and federation of software-defined networks.
LRTV Interviews
BCE Service Provider Keynote: CenturyLink

5|16|17   |   22:32   |   (0) comments


Aamir Hussain leads the Product Development and Technology organization at CenturyLink, which includes the company's information technology function. He is an experienced senior technology executive with more than 25 years of proven success in the implementation of global technology operations, operationalization of complex technology, infrastructures and business ...
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
Cities Clamor for More Clout at FCC
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 5/23/2017
What's Blocking 4K TV Today
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading, 5/22/2017
Sonus & Genband Finally Combine to Form $745M Company
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 5/23/2017
Fright Wigs & Cocktails: BCE 2017 in Pics
Mitch Wagner, Editor, Enterprise Cloud, 5/19/2017
Apple Looking to Cook 5G Test Devices
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 5/24/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
One of the nice bits of my job (other than the teeny tiny salary, obviously) is that I get to pick and choose who I interview for this slot on the Light Reading home ...
TEOCO Founder and CEO Atul Jain talks to Light Reading Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the challenges around cost control and service monetization in the mobile and IoT sectors.
Animals with Phones
What Brogrammers Look Like to the Rest of Us Click Here
Live Digital Audio

Playing it safe can only get you so far. Sometimes the biggest bets have the biggest payouts, and that is true in your career as well. For this radio show, Caroline Chan, general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division of the Network Platform Group at Intel, will share her own personal story of how she successfully took big bets to build a successful career, as well as offer advice on how you can do the same. We’ll cover everything from how to overcome fear and manage risk, how to be prepared for where technology is going in the future and how to structure your career in a way to ensure you keep progressing. Chan, a seasoned telecom veteran and effective risk taker herself, will also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air.