Optical transport innovations for a more cost-effective network

Innovations in optical transport are making a new, more cost-effective type of network design possible. As the demand for broadband services continues to soar, operators are investing heavily in their networks to satisfy that demand. They're transitioning from SONET/SDH to Ethernet technology, for instance, and they're deploying optical transport networks.

To support bandwidth-intensive technologies such as high-definition video, 10-Gbps passive optical networks (PONs) and long-term evolution (LTE), operators also are boosting capacity in their access segments. Not surprisingly, they are looking for ways to help them control the costs of these network improvements.

Innovations in optical transport are making network designs more cost-effectiveJust as it has in so many areas, technology itself is proving to be one of the best cost-control mechanisms available to operators. Optical-transport innovations--specifically, reconfigurable optical add/drop multiplexers (ROADMs), forward error correction (FEC) and coherent detection--have made possible a new, cost-effective network design.

By implementing this new network design, operators can:

  • reach more customers cost-effectively
  • offer more higher-capacity services
  • simplify their infrastructures and
  • strengthen their profit margins.

As every operator knows, service speeds today are approaching multi-gigabit rates at the network edge. With that level of capacity demand, it's easy to cost-justify generating a wavelength.

Thanks to these optical-transport improvements, that wavelength can travel 2,000 kilometers or more before it requires costly optical-electrical-optical (OEO) signal regeneration. That means you can establish service at the edge and transport it directly to the central destination and core gateway sites. Services merely passing through intermediate sites incur almost no cost.

In addition, because many transport-network platforms feature integrated Layer-2 aggregation capabilities, this equipment can take over some of the aggregation chores currently handled by the routers you've distributed close to the network edge.

Finally, compared with other transport technologies, optical transport offers the lowest cost-per-bit-transported, the lowest latency, the lowest power consumption and the highest network availability.

By combining all these factors, this new network design eliminates the need for you to distribute your aggregation routers in the metro network; instead, you can re-deploy them at central gateway sites. Further, by directly interconnecting these routers and caching devices so they can share capacity, you can use these resources more efficiently. As an added bonus, this network design delivers tremendous OPEX savings, now that you have far fewer locations to maintain, troubleshoot and upgrade.

For a more in-depth look at this new network design and the CAPEX/OPEX savings it offers when compared to your distributed-router strategy, please see our latest white paper, New Optical Transport Network Strategies that Cut Costs.