Mobile Internet traffic is growing like crazy. We all know it. That fact led the first slide in every presentation at an optical conference I recently attended. Service providers can no longer build networks following strategies used in the past.
Let’s move beyond the statistics and talk about what service providers can do to change the way they transport all that traffic and actually lower the cost per bit in the process.
Packet optical transport is the answer.
Networks must scale to meet customer demand for reliable, efficient services. But network planning is always forecast-driven. The only 100 percent, fool-proof thing about forecasts is that they are always wrong.
Plus, even with the migration to 2G/3G/LTE (News - Alert) under way, SONET/SDH is not going away anytime soon. Service providers need to get the most out of the networks they have while building for the future.
Time to Break with Tradition
Many times, providers add DWDM to networks to alleviate fiber exhaust. Service providers also deploy DWDM/ROADM (News - Alert) to add more flexibility to their transport solutions. ROADM makes it easy to add and drop wavelengths where needed without planning ahead or re-engineering the network.
Flexibility is the biggest benefit of adding DWDM/ROADM to a transport network. But it can cause greater expenses as a result of under-used pipes.
The flexibility and redundancy of the DWDM/ROADM architecture is great and can reduce construction costs versus traditional switch router interconnection. But, ultimately, this traditional network design results in under-used pipes, which make networks more expensive to run. It’s time to rethink how networks are built in order to lower the overall cost of operating them.
New Thinking, Better Networks
By integrating packet optical transport with ROADM, service providers still gain the flexibility for their transport networks that’s inherent in the technology, and can often help reduce overall capital expenses. The savings come from aggregation in the transport networks. I’m not talking about replacing routers. Rather, merely aggregating services to fewer interfaces on the routers.
Packet optical transport networks integrated with ROADM can reduce network costs by aggregating services to fewer router interfaces.
Packet optical products enable large and small service providers to offer higher capacity at a lower cost per bit and support SONET/SDH and Ethernet transport.
As networks evolve to Ethernet, adding packet optical transport platforms can initially provide scale to existing infrastructure assets. Equally important is the ability to aggregate Ethernet services from the edge of the network to a single aggregated 1GbE to 10GbE. Existing SONET/SDH can now support new services while taking advantage of the switching and performance monitoring capabilities of packet optical transport.
A packet optical transport solution adds an optical layer. It enables the deployment of all-packet solutions with the same scalability of TDM networks. And, as Ethernet technologies advance and MPLS-TP standards evolve, service providers gain the advantages of connection-oriented Ethernet for better timing, management and performance monitoring.
Finally, the packet optical transport strong optical layer manages services at the wavelength level, keeping cost per bit transport at its lowest. And by integrating wavelength-level switching with aggregation of Layer 2 interfaces, the number of electronics and router ports in the network is greatly reduced. The result is significant capEx savings, even in small networks.
The growing popularity of the mobile Internet is a game-changer. Service providers can no longer build networks following strategies used in the past. By changing network architectures to take advantage of packet optical transport, you’ll have the flexibility to migrate to Ethernet when the time is right, while reducing cost per bit to its lowest possible level.
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Edited by Stefania Viscusi