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ON2020 Shares Operator Visions for the Future of Optical Networking at OFC 2018

Simon Stanley
Heavy Lifting Analyst Notes
Simon Stanley
2/28/2018
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Operators are already looking at the optical networks required to deliver cloud and 5G services over the next five to ten years, and ON2020 provides a forum for the industry to share these visions and develop technology roadmaps and evolution scenarios to ensure the right solutions are available. At OFC, the ON2020 group, now officially launched as an IEEE Industry Connections (IC) program, is running a workshop where speakers from leading operators Microsoft Azure, British Telecom, Deutsche Telekom, Facebook and China Telecom will share their visions and discuss roadmaps for optical networking. This should prove to be a compelling session covering a wide range of views and identifying the key technologies and solutions that are needed for next-generation optical networks supporting cloud and 5G services.

The shift to cloud services and the rapid growth in bandwidth available to subscribers through 5G and fiber access networks will require huge capacity and flexibility from the optical networks connecting data centers, edge computing, access networks and base stations. Faster network deployment and bandwidth on demand will also be key requirements, together with lower operating costs and a competitive supply chain. If the industry can deliver on these requirements then operators will be able to grow revenue by supplying new services more quickly and selling differentiated services that ensure customers get the bandwidth and services they want, and are prepared to pay for.

Transport SDN is proving a challenge for operators to implement but will be critical to the efficient management of optical networks, scaling network capacity and the delivery of highly dynamic services. Transport SDN can take advantage of the many developments already being implemented to make optical networks more manageable and open. Disaggregation and white box ROADM/OXC solutions will be of interest, however performance, power consumption and reliability remain overriding requirements. Industry cooperation and multivendor interoperability tests are removing barriers and moving the deployment of Transport SDN forward.

Large telecom and webscale operators frequently need 10 Tbit/s links today and will need 40 Tbit/s per link soon. Increased spectral efficiency and the use of high-data-rate channels are two technology developments that are making significantly more bandwidth available to operators. Cost-effective 400G channels and interfaces are key goals for the industry, together with further reduced cost and power 100G interfaces.

ON2020 is working to ensure the industry identifies the requirements for optical networks from 2020 onward and develops the right roadmaps and deployment scenarios. As an IEEE IC program, ON2020 is open to anyone interested in participating. During the OFC session the group will be calling for participation and is expecting interest from across the optical networking industry. Freed from near-term thinking and competition and standardization constraints, ON2020 will help to set longer-term goals and directions for the optical networking industry.

The Industry Visions for a Converged Optical Networking Roadmap session at OFC 2018 will take place on the show floor in Theater II, Hall E on Wednesday, March 14, 1:15-3:15 PM. With speakers Mark Filer from Microsoft Azure, Andrew Lord from British Telecom, Arnold Mattheus from Deutsche Telekom, Katharine Schmidtke from Facebook and Chengliang Zhang from China Telecom, we can expect a global view and enlightened discussion. The session will provide long-term industry visions beyond current product deployments and roadmaps and will be moderated by Peter Winzer from Nokia Bell Labs and Xiang Liu from Huawei.

Follow these links for more information about ON2020 and the IEEE IC. Further information on the OFC session will be posted on this site after the show.

— Simon Stanley, Analyst at Large, Heavy Reading

This article is sponsored by ON2020.

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