ADVA to Shake Its Metro Money-Maker

Once upon a time, the race was on to build new metro networks. Now the emphasis has changed. Incumbent carriers are calling the tune, and their primary interest is in making more money out of their existing infrastructures.

This state of affairs is reflected in developments that ADVA AG Optical Networking (Frankfurt: ADV) plans to announce at Germany's CeBIT trade show, March 13-20.

ADVA, one of the pioneers of low-cost metro DWDM (dense wavelength-division multiplexing) technology, plans to unveil enhancements to its existing "Fiber Service Platform" product line -- a hub called the FSP3000 and an access unit called the FSP1000 -- that will help telecom operators boost revenues on the one hand and cut costs on the other.

This stems from two developments.

First, ADVA has developed a TDM (time-division multiplexing) add/drop multiplexer module for its equipment. This enables operators to pack wavelengths with smaller bandwidth channels, like the T1 (1.5 Mbit/s) and E1 (2 Mbit/s) circuits that most of their customers still want. It also enables them to carry these circuits as rings rather than as point-to-point connections in their metro networks, which delivers the resilience they’re looking for.

Second, ADVA has produced a cut-down, pizza-box version of its FSP1000, one that's about one fifth the size of the existing product and has less capacity -- up to 10 wavelengths. The idea is that it will enable operators to extend their combined DWDM and TDM networks to smaller sites, and thus reach new customers at an affordable cost.

One possible snag with ADVA’s TDM developments is that they’re proprietary. They don’t comply with standards for carrying legacy circuits inside Sonet (Synchronous Optical NETwork) and SDH (Synchronous Digital Hierarchy) frames (for more on these standards see page 5 of Tutorial on Grooming Switches). “We’ve done it in a proprietary way because it’s more efficient,” says Abdul Kasim, ADVA’s VP of marketing. “With Sonet, there’s a lot of overhead.” Kasim points out that ADVA’s equipment complies with standards at the wavelength level and thus is interoperable with other manufacturers’ DWDM boxes.

Contrary to a previous statement, ADVA now says that it will offer an Optical Crossconnects module for the FSP3000, facilitating dynamic reconfiguration of wavelengths (see Lumentis Faces Metro Challenge). An electrical crossconnect module, enabling dynamic reconfiguration of TDM channels, is also planned, although no date has been set for its availability. Other equipment is scheduled to be generally available by the time it's shown at CeBIT, according to Kasim.

An look at how ADVA's old and new equipment can work together in a typical network is shown in this poster, which will form part of ADVA's CeBIT demo.

At CeBIT, ADVA will be in Hall 27, Stand G36

— Peter Heywood, Founding Editor, Light Reading
http://www.lightreading.com For more information on CeBIT, please visit: www.lightreading.com/cebit

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