Adtran Pushes ROADMs & OTN

Adtran Inc. (Nasdaq: ADTN) is adding more optical features to the TA 5000 access box, sticking to its conviction that access networking and optical transport will be converging.

A new card announced Monday adds reconfigurable optical add/drop multiplexer (ROADM) capabilities to the TA 5000. Adtran officials call it a mini-ROADM; it's based on a two-port wavelength selective switch (WSS) (a four-port version is due out in the first half of 2012) and includes an on-board pre-amplifier and an optical monitor.

Adtran is using an outside WSS vendor that helped with that integration. Officials aren't saying which vendor it is, but it's not JDSU (Nasdaq: JDSU; Toronto: JDU), says Mano Nachum, an Adtran product line manager.

Adtran is also adding an Optical Transport Network (OTN) blade that it calls a switchponder. It's an OTN switch with 16 client ports that handle feeds down to ODU0 (1Gbit/s), and two OTU2 (10Gbit/s) uplinks.

The new features, collectively named Optical Networking Edge (ONE) 2.0, are due to be available later this month.

Why this matters
Adtran is betting that it can lead a trend of optical transport becoming integral to the access network.

On the ROADM side, it's trying to shrink costs enough to fit that market. Adtran is also avoiding the trend of colorless, directionless and contentionless ROADMs, saying it's overkill for most deployments.

OTN switching is typically a core-network function, but Adtran is pitching it as a multiservice transport option for Tier 2 and 3 carriers, using the G.709 wrapper to ship TDM and Ethernet traffic. Many smaller carriers hadn't been considering OTN before Adtran started bringing it up, Nachum says.

Do customers share Adtran's belief that an access system needs this much optical? Adtran isn't disclosing how many ONE customers it's gotten since ONE 1.0 was announced a year ago, but it's more than 10, Nachum says vaguely. He adds that Adtran got its first Asian customer for ONE last week; specifics won't be announced for at least a couple of months, he thinks.

For more
Recent news about the TA 5000 and its competition:

— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 4:47:20 PM
re: Adtran Pushes ROADMs & OTN


We sold a CWDM ROADM quite ineffectively to the Tier 3s.  It is hard to beat colored optics and passive shelves at the smallest of carriers.  There is not the need for automation when you are reconfiguring wavelengths once every 5 years or so.


PS - It was an OEM of RBNs product.  Was temp hardened 1U box that could add/drop 4 services per shelf out of the 8 wavelenghts 3R at every node with the idea that you could drop it in with the same engineering skills as a SONET mux.

Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 4:47:20 PM
re: Adtran Pushes ROADMs & OTN

Interesting ideas -- bringing optical functions further to the edge, bringing OTN to Tier 3s that hadn't considered it before.

Adtran is also pushing the idea of not having to go with a full colorless, directionless, contentionless ROADM scheme at the access -- it's got too many pieces to it and would cost too much, they're saying.

Any thoughts on the strategy?

billy_fold 12/5/2012 | 4:47:17 PM
re: Adtran Pushes ROADMs & OTN

Is there anything that the TA5000 will not do?  (DSLAM, DS-1s, DS-3s, Ethernet, ROADM, Optical what else?)  And I guess that is the problem.  It doesn't do any of them very well.


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