Infinera Does OTN

4:15 PM -- When Infinera Corp. (Nasdaq: INFN) launched its DTN system, we picked the headline "Infinera Declares WDM War." I like that headline. Infinera's mission was to upend dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM) philosophy by converting all traffic into electrical form.

Infinera is trying to do the same thing with Optical Transport Network (OTN) transmission, telling the world the DTN can do this better than other DWDM systems can, because it handles traffic in the electrical domain.

Infinera announced today that it's adding OTN interfaces to the ATN and DTN systems. That means those boxes can do more than switch OTN traffic; they can re-groom it while it's in the electrical domain. (See Infinera Launches Digital OTN.)

That's not how OTN has been working, says Serge Melle, Infinera's vice president of technical marketing.

"Any kind of muxponder interface lights a wavelength end-to-end between where the services are coming on and where the services are coming off," Melle says. "So, a wavelength going from San Francisco to Denver isn't going to be able to share with a wavelength going from San Francisco to Chicago."

In other words, Infinera thinks its OTN options can fight stranded bandwidth, the problem that's led to the invention of one optical technology after another. (See Transmode Enhances ROADM and Resilient Packet Ring Technology.)

The approach isn't all that surprising. Every optical company will have an OTN architecture to talk about, and it makes sense for Infinera's to aim at short-circuiting the usual DWDM play.

Infinera might have company, by the way. Melle acknowledges that Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. has talked about doing similar things with its OSN 8800. "Huawei is good at looking at a product and trying to emulate it. So, we think Huawei is going to come out with a product with similar capabilities," he says.

— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

USA 12/5/2012 | 4:23:05 PM
re: Infinera Does OTN

Hey, Hey, Infinera is finally supporting OTN.  Welcome to the 1990s.

gordonzola 12/5/2012 | 4:23:04 PM
re: Infinera Does OTN

They can support it but when are they going to build it?

rzerockzeron 12/5/2012 | 4:23:03 PM
re: Infinera Does OTN

Thanks for your reply Craig.

Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 4:23:03 PM
re: Infinera Does OTN

Why do you think LR thinks Infinera is so innovative? 

That statement is meant in a like manner, by the way. No sarcasm. Don't mistake our interest for cheerleading. Likewise, I'll take your comment as a reminder to scale back when I'm telling Infinera's backstory.  Thanks.

The PIC is the main 'new thing' they've got.  What keeps Infinera on our radar has more to do with market impact (people are buying their stuff), their contrarian attitude (which might come more into play if ROADMs start taking over more of the network), and the fact that people seem really interested in them and/or irritated by them.

rzerockzeron 12/5/2012 | 4:23:03 PM
re: Infinera Does OTN

I am asking the question with no sarcasm - Other than PICs, what value do they offer? I dont have a valid answer and am hoping someone can offer a suggestion.

paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 4:23:00 PM
re: Infinera Does OTN


What is this "optics growth" that you speak of?

I think that ship sailed about 10 years ago.




Sterling Perrin 12/5/2012 | 4:23:00 PM
re: Infinera Does OTN

Rzer -

It's intersting that Infinera may have put too much marketing emphasis on their PICs so that it's difficult to view the company in any other way. One thing that they also pioneered is integrating DWDM transport with OEO switching based on OTN and tying that together with a GMPLS control plane. There is a lot of carrier interest in this combination of technologies right now and we're seeing product announcements from Alcatel-Lucent, Huawei, Ciena, NSN, etc.

Adding interfaces for OTN is not particularly exciting, but they may be trumpeting this as a way to alert the world that they do in fact have OTN switching and have since day 1 - it just got buried in the PIC noise (through their own efforts).

Separately, investors are interested in Infinera because there are not very many public pureplay optics companies in the U.S. If you're a mutual fund manager, how do you invest in optics growth? They are kind of a proxy for optical trends.


Sterling Perrin 12/5/2012 | 4:22:59 PM
re: Infinera Does OTN

I guess that was more of a hypothetical ... though looking at my own retirement funds, "flat" seems to be the new "up."


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