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.
Recent news about the TA 5000 and its competition:
- Adtran Expands Optical Edge Portfolio
- Frontier Goes All-Adtran – For Now
- Adtran Intros Optical Networking Edge
- Calix CEO Claims Occam for Its Ethernet
— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading