Innovative Optical LAN allows Airports to build modern networks that exceed their rapidly evolving digital connectivity needs

by | Sep 30, 2018 | Blog

Airport IT professionals recognize the need to design and build network infrastructure that supports thousands of digital services and digital connectivity. That same network needs to have the flexibility to expand as thousands of additional gigabit Ethernet connections are added and the number of digital devices grow exponentially. Airports around the world face this challenge as they prepare to support the network demands of smart intelligent buildings.

Tellabs Optical LAN (OLAN) is a simple, scalable, stable and secure fiber-based IT network architecture. Its two greatest attributes are its scalability to meet the airport’s future digital growth while improving the airport’s sustainability initiatives. This is exactly what Tellabs OLAN has delivered to international airports in:

  • New York
  • Dallas/Fort Worth
  • Chicago
  • And, Paris

OLAN design provides these airports a graceful and cost-effective means to grow their connectivity in response to smart building IoT demand by leveraging the superior capacity of OLAN system and fiber cabling. OLAN relies on Single Mode Fiber (SMF) cabling from the main data center through the cable risers, through the horizontal pathways and as close to the digital devices as possible. SMF cable bandwidth is measured in terabits today – far greater than copper cables capacity in the gigabits! With this capacity, SMF lifespan is expected to exceed 25 years whereas copper cables historically have been replaced every 5-7 years. Similarly, OLAN and passive optical splitters already provide a graceful migration to 10G, 40G and 100G capacity with no conflicts. Optical LAN provides greater gigabit Ethernet density (in smaller footprint) and scalability to support thousands of future smart buildings and the IoT. Finally, OLAN has centralized intelligence and management to manage the multitude of IoT connected devices in a more M2M and plug-n-play manner.

Sustainability is just as important to airports. Consider there is less mid-span electronics with a passive network. A copper-based LAN CATx cable has a 100-meter reach limit for just one gigabit Ethernet, whereas OLAN can reach 20 kilometers with no electronics – that’s 200x better reach. This leads to less IT network energy consumption and there is also the added rippling effect of less power plant, power backup, HVAC and less telecom room security. OLAN can support a greater number of gigabit Ethernet ports in a smaller footprint. For example, OLAN Optical Line Terminals (OLTs) can support over 7,000 gigabit Ethernet ports from a single 7’ telecom rack – that is 4x better than traditional Ethernet switch!  SMF cabling is smaller than copper cabling – SMF has 60% less plastics and less PVCs compared to CATx.

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Tellabs Optical LAN is a true enterprise centric solution that offers a better means of designing and operating networks inside buildings and across extended campuses.


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Joel Fischer
Joel Fischer
Director Sales Engineering