Top telcos take TIP specs to optical hopefuls

Specifications developed by TIP's Phoenix project, which is focused on optical transponders for disaggregated systems, are to be included in an RFI from major operators.

March 25, 2020

3 Min Read
Top telcos take TIP specs to optical hopefuls

Five major operators are to issue a request for information (RFI) to the transport networking community in an effort to kick-start the development of commercial products for disaggregated optical systems based on Telecom Infra Project (TIP) specifications.

Deutsche Telekom, NTT Communications, Telefónica, Telia Company and Vodafone are to issue the RFI based on specs cooked up by TIP's Phoenix group, which has completed and published technical specifications focused on the development of transponders that can be deployed in open line system (OLS) architectures: The RFI will be designed to "evaluate industry readiness in upcoming months, with the target to have specification-compliant solutions ready for commercial deployments in the first half of 2021," according to a blog written by Víctor López Álvarez, a technology specialist at Telefónica, that was published by TIP this week.

Telia's Mattias Fridström outlined the potential for disaggregated optical systems during a recent interview with Light Reading, but noted that the financial benefits have yet to be proven.

Fridström also said the operator community is hoping that new vendors will enter the market using the TIP specs to boost the supplier options available to the carriers.

Phoenix is just one of the developments under the auspices of TIP's Open Optical & Packet Transport (OOPT) project group, of which López is the co-chair. Another is Cassini, which has been focused on the development of modular packet/optical transponders: IP Infusion and the Open Networking Foundation (ONF) have both recently announced software support for Cassini deployments, while Edgecore Networks has developed a Cassini transponder that has been put through its paces by Telefónica del Perú.

The OOPT's work also includes the disaggregated cell site gateways (DCSG) development that has resulted in the deployment of white box cell site gateways by Telefónica in Germany and Ecuador.

Figure 1: How the work of TIP's OOPT group corresponds to a transport network architecture. How the work of TIP's OOPT group corresponds to a transport network architecture.

The OOPT has also just launched the Disaggregated Open Routers (DOR) subgroup, "with its mission being to define, build, and deploy disaggregated IP/MPLS routers." That development is being led by KDDI and Vodafone and is supported on the vendor side by ADVA, Delta, Edgecore Networks, Exaware, Infinera, Ufispace and Volta Networks.

In a statement issued to announce its participation in the new subgroup, Volta co-founder and CEO Dean Bogdanovic noted: "As the first company with cloud-native virtual routing software, we believe strongly in having open standards for disaggregated routing, which is better for everyone in the ecosystem – service providers and vendors alike … Open networking will continue to be important as service providers look for new ways to improve the scale, performance, automation and economics of their networks."

For more on this topic, see:

— Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

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