Optical Connections Industry Focus 2022-2023

Bringing the World the Latest in Optical Communications News


AUTOMATING FIBRE NETWORKS The systems driving change | p14

THE YEAR AHEAD: What’s next? | p18

XR OPTICS: Reducing Edge complexity | p20

EPIC CEO INTERVIEW: Steven Goetstouwers | p24


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LOTS TO LOOK FORWARD TO IN 2023 Welcome to the last edition of Optical Connections for 2022. It’s been an interesting year for sure. I’ve tried to pick out some of the more memorable news stories and most innovative products, but it wasn’t an easy task. Looking towards 2023, I don’t expect the next 12 months to be any different, given the rate at which the fibre optic and photonics industries are progressing. Indeed, there’s a lot to look forward to in 2023, in terms of new technologies and ways of managing them. In this issue, we asked some industry experts to give their thoughts on the year ahead, with some interesting results. We also talk to Netcracker’s Susan White about automating network management, and there’s an excellent article by Infinera’s Fady Masoud on how XR Optics could be a game changer in the coming year . Also looking to the future is Ciena’s Helen Xenos, on the future of coherent technology and where the company is heading in the future. In the EPIC CEO interview, Steven Goetstouwers, CEO of Admesy, gives an insight into running a company specialising in using photonic measurement techniques in the consumer electronics market. Looking back at 2022, one of the highlights of the year was ECOC 2022, which took place in Basel. The numbers of visitors, exhibitors and speakers were back to pre-Covid levels and four innovative and very happy companies walked away with Industry Awards. However, ECOC is an on-going process and preparations are already well underway for ECOC 2023 Exhibition, which will be held in Glasgow, Scotland, on 2nd – 4th October. At the other end of the year, there’s our second TOP Conference in London on 13th-14th February to look forward to. Already, the line-up of experts from the telecoms, optics and photonics industries is impressive, so it’s an event that’s not to be missed. The team at Optical Connections and ECOC Exhibition would like to wish all our sponsors, advertisers and readers a very happy and successful 2023 and we look forward to continuing our relationships for another 12 months.


Top products 2022

10 Top News 2022 14 Automating Fibre Networks Susan White 16 The Year Ahead Peter Dykes 20 XR Optics Fady Masoud 22 Ciena: Planning For the Future Helen Xenos 24 EPIC CEO Interview Steven Goetstouwers, Admesy 26 TOP Conference Preview 28 ECOC 2022 Wrap 31 ECOC 2022 Industry Awards 32 Product News

Peter Dykes Contributing Editor, Optical Connections

READ ONLINE/SUBSCRIBE: www.opticalconnectionsnews.com FOLLOW US @opconsnews EDITORIAL : editor@opticalconnectionsnews.com ADVERTISING: sales@opticalconnectionsnews.com DESIGN: Antonio Manuel


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New Data Transmission Record Set

a spectrum of many colours. All the colours are fixed at a specific frequency distance from each other using a frequency comb. Each colour (or frequency) can then be isolated and used to imprint data. The frequencies can then be reassembled and sent over an optical fibre. Victor Torres Company, professor at Chalmers University of Technology, is head of the research group that has developed and manufactured the chip. He says, “What is special about

An international group of researchers from Technical University of Denmark (DTU) and Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden, have achieved record data transmission speeds and are the first in the world to transmit more than 1 petabit per second (Pbps) using only a single laser and a single optical chip. The light source is a custom-designed optical chip, which can use the light from a single infrared laser to create

ogy, and a single laser we will be able to transmit up to 100 Pbps. The reason for this is that our solution is scalable, both in terms of creating many frequencies and in terms of splitting the frequency comb into many spatial copies and then optically amplifying them, and using them as parallel sources with which we can transmit data. Although the comb copies must be amplified, we do not lose the qualities of the comb, which we utilise for spectrally efficient data transmission.”

this chip is that it produces a frequency comb with ideal characteristics for fibre-optical communica- tions – it has high optical power and covers a broad bandwidth within the spec- tral region that is interest- ing for advanced optical communications.” Professor Leif Katsuo Ox- enløwe, head of the Centre of Excellence for Silicon Photonics for Optical Communications (SPOC) at DTU, says, “Our calcu- lations show that with the single chip made by Chal- mers University of Technol-

Ciena To Buy Tibit And Benu Networks

Networks will extend our ability to support custom- ers’ next-generation metro and edge strategies as service providers globally accelerate investments to modernise their networks and improve connectivity at the network edge,” said Scott McFeely, senior vice president, Global Products and Services, Ciena. “Tibit’s high-speed PON technolo- gies and Benu’s subscriber management products, combined with Ciena’s current access and edge portfolio, will enable us to offer broader, more com- plete, and fully integrated broadband access solu- tions that combine routing, subscriber management, and PON features and functionality.”

Ciena has entered into a definitive

Tibit’s open, microplug OLT technology enables rapid PON deployment in any environment. Benu has developed a portfolio of field-proven,

lio of solutions for broad- band access use cases, including residential broad- band, enterprise business services, and fixed-wireless access, which represent a significant addressa- ble market for Ciena. In addition, the acquisitions will strengthen Ciena’s ex- pertise in these areas, with the addition of a combined 60+ talented engineers with significant experience in access technologies. Tibit combines PON-spe- cific hardware and OS into a micro pluggable transceiver that can be easily integrated into a carrier-grade Ethernet switch. Unlike the closed and proprietary approaches of traditional Optical Line Terminal (OLT) vendors,

agreement to acquire Tibit Communications, Inc., a privately-held company headquartered in Petaluma, California, along with Benu Networks, Inc., a privately-held company headquartered in Burlington, Massachusetts. Tibit and Benu are focused on simplifying broadband access networks through next-generation PON technologies and advanced subscriber

cloud-native software solutions, including a

virtual Broadband Network Gateway ((v)BNG), which are highly complementary to Ciena’s existing portfo- lio of broadband access solutions. Benu will provide Ciena with the ability to deliver a single solution that integrates routing, OLT, subscriber manage- ment and network services, thereby reducing both cap- ital and operating expenses and improving sustainability for its customers. “The acquisitions of Tibit Communications and Benu

management, respectively.

Ciena says Individually and together, Tibit and Benu will complement the company’s existing portfo-





New Submarine Cable For South East Asia

POET Taps Lumentum For Data Centre Solutions

A consortium of telecommunication

POET Technologies Inc. will use high-speed directly modulated laser (DML) technology from Lumentum Holdings Inc. to enable high volume, low power, and cost-efficient 400G, 800G, and 1.6T pluggable transceivers for hyperscale data centres. Working with Lumentum, POET expects to start sam- pling the 400G FR4 transmit optical engines with inte- grated drivers in the first half of 2023 and production by the second half of 2023. The 400G FR4 optical engines are architected as photonic chip- lets and will be the industry’s first implementation of DMLs with flip-chip integration on an optical interposer at these data rates. With the small size and elegant design of POET’s

Philippines, Brunei Darus- salam and Hainan, China. HMN Technologies Co., Lim- ited (HMN Tech) was awarded as the system supplier and is expected to complete the construction of ALC by the third quarter of 2025. ALC is seen to provide additional hyper-capacity within Asia and boost resiliency for inter- national traffic. It will have a minimum eight fibre pairs in the system, with 18 Tbps/fibre pair minimum trunk design capacity, adding more capac- ity and diversity to existing networks in the region. An open cable system architec- ture will be adopted for ALC, enabling operators to select and maintain independent line terminal equipment that would suit their customer requirements.

optical engines, customers will have the flexibility to design 400G, 800G, and 1.6T pluggable transceivers using the same 400G FR4 chiplets. “The majority of the 400G transceivers in the market today use either externally modulated lasers or silicon photonics combined with ex- ternal lasers. These solutions require multiple components and involve several cum- bersome and costly active alignments,” said Suresh Ven- katesan, chairman & CEO of POET. “POET has a significant opportunity to disrupt the market with a highly integrat- ed solution with all passive alignments and monolithically integrated waveguides and multiplexers, which translates to lower cost, power, and size benefits to our customers.”

companies led by Singapore operator Singtel, has signed agreements to invest about US$300 million for a submarine cable system in South East Asia that aims to boost data capacity in the region and upgrade local capacities. The group also includes China Telecom Global Limited of China, Globe Telecom, Inc., DITO Telecommunity Corporation of the Philippines, and Unified National Networks Sdn Bhd of Brunei Darussalam. The planned Asia Link Ca- ble (ALC) will be approximate- ly 6,000-kilometre in length, connecting Hong Kong SAR, China and Singapore as its trunk, with branches into the

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2022 has been an outstanding year for innovation, particularly in the areas of decreasing component footprints and interoperability. Here, we list just a few. They are not listed in any particular order, but we think each product will, in its own way, have a significant impact on some aspect of the optical communications industry in the coming year and beyond.


undergoing an infrastructure transformation, requiring higher speeds, greater scalability, and higher levels of reliability to better meet the demands of business. As speed and performance needs increase, optical transceivers, once considered a generic component of fibre channel switching technologies, have become an integral part of overall system design as they allow organisations to connect more devices and build larger fabrics while

Senko launched its next generation duplex optical fibre connector designed for high density applications, which doubles transceiver face plate density. The connectors can be used for next generation transceivers including SFP-DD, QSFP-DD and OSFPVSFF. The compact design of Senko’s Very Small Form Factor (VSFF) duplex SN® fibre connectors allow significant space-saving in data centre and telecom applications. The company says data centres are

utilising less space. The SN® interface allows for greater optical connectivity density on the switch while still having the reliability of the industry standard LC connector.



pending distance optimisation technology, the device also extends 25Gbps DWDM reach to 40km, and its G.metro auto-tuning technology reduces provisioning efforts and simplifies operations. The AccessWave25™ pluggable is host-agnostic and with a standardised SFP28 form factor, it enables operators to connect switches, routers and other devices to DWDM open line systems. With full C-band tuneable interfaces and G.metro self-tuning capabilities, the device reduces set-up time, minimises human error and delivers operational cost savings.

ADVA launched AccessWave25™, a device which the company says will enable network operators to easily migrate their 10Gbps access infrastructure to 25Gbps connectivity without a significant increase in footprint or major changes to the existing optical layer. The pluggable device is aimed at higher bandwidth services in mobile X-Haul, cable access and wholesale networks. Operators can slot the AccessWave25™ into any standard-based SFP28 port for a capacity upgrade without replacing existing demarcation or aggregation devices. Using patent-

what it claims is the world’s first Generation 6 OLT (Optical Line Terminal), designed, says the company, for a ‘fibre- for-everything’ world where fibre broadband networks evolve to become a single infrastructure for all services. The Lightspan MF-14 platform is already in trials with Frontier Communications in the US and CityFibre in the UK. Based on a new,

advanced hardware and disaggregated software design, the MF- 14 is claimed to be the highest capacity platform in the industry and the only solution ready for mass delivery of 25G, 50G and 100G PON services. It’s also the industry’s first OLT with

the six-nines availability and sub-millisecond latency. The Lightspan MF-14 platform, which extends the upper end of Nokia’s fibre broadband portfolio, was premiered at the Network X event in Amsterdam from 18 to 20 October.




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HUBER+SUHNER says its FTTH modular connectivity solution is the first on the market to enable subscribers to partially install their own fibre. Known as RESA, the solution is designed for rural/ suburban residential and commercial areas. It is an easy installation alternative for both carriers and end customers. RESA is designed to reduce the costs, time and resources required for rolling out FTTH networks, while giving subscribers more convenience and choice. The modular solution is split into two different phases: homes passed and homes connected. In the first stage, the carriers pre-install the RESA Splice Closure (SC) box underground in the street. For

across multivendor access networks, from planning and design to roll-out, service provisioning, wholesale customer onboarding, settlements and problem solving. With an Open API integration layer, the solution helps fibre Operators to accelerate wholesale customer adoption and react quickly to customer needs, thereby facilitating rapid business growth.

OSS/BSS company Netcracker Technology, a wholly- owned subsidiary of NEC Corporation, launched its Fiber Cloud Solution to equip wholesale fibre operators with a lean and open IT environment focused on agility, efficiency and business growth. The solution, part of the broader Netcracker Cloud Solutions for NetCos and ServCos, automates all aspects of the fibre business

the second phase, subscribers, without needing any fibre optic knowledge, are given simple instructions on how to install the last few meters of the FTTH connection within the boundaries of their own property.



optical transceivers to make them compatible with almost any interface, eliminating stock redundancies and providing a scalable and cost-effective solution for anyone who uses equipment form two or more vendors in their network. The solution was also updated with a new software version, which allows users to access their transceivers’ data on all major platforms, including Apple.

Sticklers launched the Pro360™ Touchless Cleaner which the company claims changes the way fibre optic technicians work and significantly improves their fibre cleaning speed and

Telecommunication networks specialist, Salumanus, launched a universal optical transceiver at Anga Com this year. The transceiver was been designed by GBC Photonics, Salumanus’ own production line, and is compatible with all network devices thanks to what the company calls the Simple Recode Device (pictured). Salumanus says the product can recode GBC Photonics’

effectiveness. The tool quickly and completely cleans signal-blocking oils and dust across the entire end face of both male and female connector ends, with a single press of a button. A hand-held dispensing wand delivers a micro-dose of atomized, high-purity cleaning fluid within a narrow column of pressurized air onto a fibre optic connector end face. The contamination is carried away from the end face with the cleaning fluid during the drying process and the end

face is left clean and dry after 3.5 seconds.

Compact and portable, the Sticklers™ Pro360™ Touchless Cleaner travels anywhere you need high- performance end face cleaning. Use it for FTTH, FTTA and data centre applications as well as on connectors used in aviation, naval, and military applications.





Whereas 2021 was a year of industry consolidation, 2022 has seen a number of companies buy in the know-how and technology they need, or in some cases, sell off some of their assets in order to better pursue their strategies. Another trend is towards component standardisation and vendor interoperability. Below are the editor’s picks of the year’s news, but our complete coverage of 2022 is available on our website. LUMEN SELLS EMEA ASSETS

however. Its EMEA employees will join Colt after the transaction closes and Lumen will to continue to serve its multinational customers with needs in EMEA. The partnership will also allow Colt to continue serving the needs of the EMEA-based customers with service needs outside of EMEA.

Lumen Technologies agreed to sell its EMEA assets to UK- based digital infrastructure company Colt Technology Services for US$1.8 billion. The assets include Lumen’s terrestrial and subsea networks, data centres and network equipment in the region The proposed deal follows the sale of a

providing a better return for shareholders and driving more focused investments on enterprise growth. Lumen

significant part of Lumen’s ILEC assets to Brightspeed in October 2022. Lumen says the reasons for the latest sale include streamlining the company’s portfolio,

will maintain a strategic relationship with Colt



our brand recognition and ultimately lead to value creation,” said Dr. Vincent D. Mattera, Jr., chair and CEO of Coherent Corp. “The broader meaning of the word coherent represents our diversity in thinking distilled into our clarity of purpose, our unity in action, and our broader sense of engagement by connection to our mission, vision, and values.”

II-VI Incorporated announced a corporate name change to Coherent Corp. (Nasdaq: COHR) and a new brand identity, following the successful completion of II-VI’s acquisition of Coherent, Inc on 1st July, 2022. “We chose the name Coherent because it has the universal meaning of ‘bringing things together,’ and an appeal that we believe will expand

UK independent operator WightFibre, which provides phone, tv and broadband services to homes and businesses on the Isle of Wight, switched off its copper network and moved all its existing customers to a full fibre network. The company has been operating a hybrid fibre-coaxial network (cable) network on the Isle of Wight since 2001 and in 2018 it commenced the rollout of a full-fibre network across the island. Earlier this year the final few cable customers

were upgraded to the new network. John Irvine, CEO, said, “Our big copper switch- off was a major undertaking. For most customers the migration to full-fibre was seamless – their existing phones and analogue devices are supported on the new network with the notable exception of rotary dial telephones – thankfully there were only a few of those.”







drive adoption of advanced and innovative optical interconnect solutions. Senko says that in today’s fast-paced world, providing solutions to integrate optics with electronics circuits, also known as Co-Packaged Optics (CPO), thus raising optical performance, increasing bandwidth, and reducing power consumption, are in high demand.

Senko Advanced Components, acquired CudoForm, which designs

and manufactures of high-precision metal

micro-optic components with applications in data communications, consumer photonics, and biosafety. The acquisition will bring together the two global companies, whose aligned and combined product capabilities, says Senko, will

Lumentum Holdings Inc. continued its acquisition spree with the purchase of IPG Photonics’ telecom transmission product lines in an all-cash transaction. The company said there would be no impact to Lumentum’s fiscal fourth quarter 2022 due to this transaction. The terms of the transaction

were not disclosed. The purchase is interesting in that back in March

2019, Lumentum sold its existing optical transceiver lines manufactured by its subsidiary Oclaro Japan, to Cambridge Industries Group. In August 2022 Lumentum closed a deal to buy NeoPhotonics.

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Line Terminal (OLT). The latest specification enables operators to de-couple the ONU and OLT from control and management purposes, with the Virtualised ONU Management (vOMCI) being introduced as a solution to centralise operations without relying on each OLT to act as a management entity.

The Broadband Forum published two new

standards which it says will help operators reduce the time and cost associated with onboarding new Optical Network Unit (ONU) vendors, roll-out services faster, and more easily migrate and evolve their networks by applying new innovations and flexibility.

and maintain services associated with ONUs. Previously, says the Forum, the management cycle of the ONU was tied to a specific vendor’s Optical

The TR-451 vOMCI and MR-451 ONU Management using Virtualised OMCI specifications will give operators more choice in how they create, activate,



eight generations of design IP. EFFECT Photonics has also secured an additional US$20 million in Series-C funding bringing the total to US$63 million. Additionally, pursuant to the DSP acquisition agreement, Viasat will be joining EFFECT Photonics’ supervisory board and hold a minority interest in the company.

EFFECT Photonics signed a definitive agreement to acquire coherent optical DSP and forward error correction (FEC) technology as well as a highly experienced engineering team from global communications company, Viasat Inc. Viasat is a long- established player in DSP and FEC technologies, with

Global industry forum OIF, released a framework implementation

agreement for co-packaging, identifying the critical co-packaged applications

the end-users. Then, it examined various related topics, including electrical and optical interfaces, thermal and mechanical considerations, reliability, safety, environmental and management interfaces.

and their requirements, and charting a path for interoperability standards. The Co-Packaging track of OIF’s Physical & Link Layer (PLL) Working Group began by studying the application spaces contributed by





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Deploying and maintaining your fiber infrastructure needs to be a routine not a challenge – Easier, Faster and Cost Effective. Therefore Micos Telcom – PLP have designed the brand-new Fiber Optic Boxes MDB to simplify deployment, maintenance and control your costs. The boxes can be configured to address a wide range of fiber optic splice and/or connectivity applications for PON, GPON and 5G networks. The engineered design provides IP65 protection from water / dust ingress and IK10 impact resistance to keep your critical network connections safe inside. The “Rock Solid” boxes provide the ideal splicing solution for multi dwelling unit fiber distribution points or outdoor pole mounted splice applications. The boxes can incorporate various fiber organizers inside, including the highly flexible FibeRoad™ System.

connected with the unpredictable weather, which is changing and thus affecting our branch and raising the requirements for the passive elements such as Fiber Optic Boxes. The other factor is a number of products that certainly do not achieve the stated protection and quality, which makes the operators require increased durability automatically. MDB AS FTTA/5G BOXES Increased durability and easy configurability make the boxes suitable for the mobile networks with FTTA and 5G solutions. The clips make closing the boxes in the heights easy and the Grommet System brings new options and easy customization according to the operators’ requirements. You can find other details about the RRH (Remote Radio Heads) connection options using the MDB boxes at https://www. micostelcom.com/en/fiber-optic- boxes/fiber-optic-box-mdb-5g- 122448?utm_source=Display&utm_

You can find more information about the MDB Series at https://www.micostelcom. com/en/cms/game-changer-brand-new- fiber-optic-boxes-mdb-with-up-to-ip65- and-ik10?utm_source=Display&utm_

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FIBEROAD™ NOT ONLY IN MDB Why did Micos Telcom – PLP design the FibeRoad TM – system for fiber management? Because the customers’ requirements are so different that there are very few fiber organizers that meet all of them. But the FibeRoad TM can do everything. The customers often do not know what they will need. That is why the key benefits include the variable capacity, which enables adding the management segments into a classic stacking system that can also be used in a cascading tray solution necessary for shallow boxes. The splice trays are suitable for all kinds of applications and their family is still growing. The KM 4, KM 5, KM 6, KM 7 and KM 9 trays can be mixed within one box as required. A basic part is the organizer, which can also be used as a cable splitter. This replaces the prolonged and complicated process of putting fibers into protected microtubes like in many module solutions, because the fibers pass directly through the organizer into the module. There is also a space for splitters and unused fibers. The tray holders are clipped onto the input organizer forming fiber ducts compatible also with ribbon fibers or 900μm fibers. The segments clipped into each other enable all ways of cable routing as required by the situation:

The MDB Series includes 3 sizes – MDB M, MDB S and MDB XS.

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48× SC / 96× LC 24× SC / 48× LC 16× SC / 32× LC

427 × 290 × 132 mm 295 × 187 × 106 mm 252 × 150 × 85 mm

GROMMET SYSTEM IN MDB SERIES The boxes are designed for the Grommet System enabling fast adaptations of the boxes for the cables used in the network without increasing the production costs. Key Benefits • Each grommet can be cut, which makes them compatible with untrimmed cables or connectors without affecting the IP65 protection. • The grommets can be comfortably replaced or gradually added. • The number of grommet inputs is above standard with IP65 protection. • The grommet set also includes the equipment for fixing the cables in the box.

Other MDB Series Benefits • Removable internal fiber management chassis to enable maximum access • Support for ribbon fibers • Support for midspan (loop-through) cable deployments (via an express port) • Grommet system for cables with diameters 1.8–13 mm INCREASED DURABILITY There is a growing demand from operators for boxes with increased durability. Almost 50 % of the customers now find IP54 protection unsatisfactory and require better durability and resistance.

• from the bottom up, • from the top down,

• between the trays both up and down, • from one side to the other one under each tray or • to exit the organizer through a hole in each segment. The FibeRoad TM can be used in all types of networks. You can explore this best solution for FTTx at https://www.micostelcom. com/en/fiber-optic-trays/ fiberoad?utm_source=Display&utm_

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With the fibre optic industry very much focused on developing hardware technologies for extending reach and capacity, it’s easy to forget that without operational and business support systems (OSS/BSS), network and revenue management would be almost impossible. To find out the latest thinking in OSS/ BSS for fibre, Optical Connections editor Peter Dykes spoke to Susan White , Head of Strategy and Portfolio Marketing at Netcracker, which recently launched Fibre Cloud, an automated OSS/BSS solution designed specifically for fibre networks.

onboarded fast, and turn up capacity on- demand. However, given today’s many manual tasks, it’s an arduous process. For instance, they need to know where they can lay the fibre, regulatory approvals, getting site blueprints into the system and working with many contractors. Most of this is still manually driven and takes far too long. We’re changing this model to bring in a high degree of automation to speed the process up and drive significant cost efficiency through the business. In addition, the changing environment where telcos are separating out their fibre business, means they need to accommodate more diverse customers. To accomplish this, FiberCos will need systems that allow them to handle both large- and small-scale ServCo customers and be able to on- board and operationalise them quickly.

As an OSS/BSS vendor, what major changes have you recently observed in the

why there are more and more specialised fibre operators in the market who are increasing FTTH coverage to help ISPs meet Gigabit Society goals of 1Gbps and more. Plus, they need to find ways to differentiate their offerings from each other to remain attractive to investors. But it’s not just about FTTH. With more deployments of the 5G core, edge compute and the emergence of network slicing, we’re starting to see evolutions in vertical markets including industrial IoT, autonomous vehicles, and the drone industry. These new technologies open the door to services that require low latency or high throughput and we’re going to need a lot more backhaul fibre to enable them. The fibre business has always been about high reliability and high performance, and for wholesale providers, it has to be neutral as well. However, to accommodate these new market trends, additional requirements are needed that necessitate a new IT environment, and this is our focus at Netcracker. To meet Gigabit Society goals, FiberCos have publicised aggressive build out rates. To make this a reality they need to expedite build outs quickly, get their ISPs


telecoms industry?

A major trend we’re seeing is an increase in specialist fibre operators - companies whose


primary focus is the build out of fibre infrastructure. And many of these are focused on the wholesale market. Adding to this trend is the evolution of telcos from fully integrated companies doing everything, into separate infrastructure and service companies. The infrastructure business takes care of fibre access and/or towers, becoming a NetCo, and the services arm becomes a ServCo. We’ve seen this happen to some degree in the past, such as NBN in Australia and BT Openreach in the UK. Often it was driven by the regulators, but now we’re seeing it as a business model driven by the telcos who believe that by separating these businesses, they’ll actually have greater value in the individual parts. For example, on the infrastructure side, with a more focused business, less regulations and a broader customer base, valuations are proving to be far higher than the integrated company according to Deloitte. This is

So how is this relevant to Netcracker?


Fibre operators are looking to change their IT environment as the legacy OSS/BSS systems are


not versatile enough for the new-look NetCos. They are struggling to scale and achieve the build outs needed, there are too many manual processes, and legacy





Does Netcracker offer BSS for the retail side?

open APIs, in particular TM Forum APIs, have helped accelerate the integration needed across the ecosystem. So if a company is bringing in other players, it can integrate them much faster with this IT environment. Another key aspect of our solution is providing a real time view of what’s going on in the network. Most fibre operators have multiple inventory systems for the physical network, virtual and logical resources, which don’t communicate with each other. Whilst they know some things that are going on in one part of the network, it’s a manual process to correlate the two different environments. If you’re operating a small network, you can get away with it, but when you want to scale, it’s impossible. Having that multi-layer view that’s down to the fibre splices, the cable ducts, through to resources and services running on top, means everything can be brought together and shown in a way that makes sense. It also means being able to identify problems in the network and manage capacity more efficiently. And this takes me to the most important part which is end-to-end automation. Our solution helps to automate every process from planning and design of the outside plant and data centres through to turning customers into real orders, on-boarding and provisioning them, receiving payments and making sure there are no problems in the network. This degree of automation brings considerable operational efficiency and agility to the fibre business.

systems require considerable customisation, all of which increases costs and slows down the build. It’s therefore critical to transition to a lean and open IT layer. Netcracker provides this in a Fiber Cloud IT solution that is only focused on the specific needs of this business. It includes infrastructure management, resource management, service orchestration and a wholesale BSS offering and automates all processes across the fibre business. Out of the box functionality is also critical, and this is an important aspect of our solution that eliminates customisations. Previously, systems were customised for whatever project was needed; indeed, that was the nature of the game. Every customer had a different set of requirements and business processes, but that’s all changed. Everything today is out-of- the-box functionality with minimal or no customisations. Netcracker’s decades of expertise is essential here, enabling us to bring an extensive library of devices, models, integration adapters, as well as out-of-the-box automation processes. This helps to significantly speed up the fibre builds as the infrastructure will likely come from multiple vendors. Another factor is the ability to start small. To reduce upfront costs, we deliver to our customers a Minimum Viable Product, to get them moving quickly. While the capabilities provided on day one don’t provide everything they’ll need in five years’ time, through Cloud and DevOps, working in sprints and constant upgrades, we get them to where they need to be as the business grows.


Yes, some of the companies we work with are not purely wholesale, they are doing retail as well. In those


cases, the BSS will be more extensive because the company is also focused on the ISPs and partners that will be coming on to their network. Netcracker has a full cloud BSS suite to support these customers.

What about companies with legacy OSS/BSS?


One thing that’s clear is when you look at the landscape, there are a mix of customers that are coming


in. Some of them are going to be greenfield and even if they’re FibreCos that have been spun off from the main telco company, they may have to start from scratch if they are legally separated. However, sometimes they bring over the legacy OSS they’ve had from the integrated telco, or they may be an existing wholesale business with legacy IT and need to transform to stay competitive with new players. Regardless of the type of company, they must evolve to the new lean IT environment, otherwise they will be at a competitive disadvantage. Netcracker has been helping telcos transform to a modern, cloud native OSS/ BSS environment for many years and this experience is embedded into our Fiber Cloud solution. The combination of modern cloud technology with out of the box automation processes and integration experiences means we can help fibre operators scale their business faster and ultimately increase market share.

How important is the cloud to OSS/BSS evolution?


SW The cloud is about being agile and is one of the most fundamental changes that’s happened to OSS/BSS over the last few years. We have evolved our whole portfolio to be completely cloud native and fully decomposable, which is a significant change. The move to cloud native IT happened at a faster pace than on the network side. The solution we have built is based on microservices and can be hosted on any cloud platform, meaning we can take full advantage of cloud operations. The solution can scale easily and upgrades can be performed with zero downtime, rather than a lengthy overnight process. Fibre operators can also put our IT solution on a hyperscale platform such as AWS, Azure or Google Cloud and use DevOps to perform upgrades faster and evolve quickly over time. The use of

Susan White, Head of Strategy and Portfolio Marketing, Netcracker





Inevitably, with the new year rapidly approaching, it’s tempting to speculate about the direction the industry will take in 2023, so we decided to ask three experts in their fields how they thought the next 12 months would unfold. SCALE, SIMPLICITY, SUSTAINABILITY OPTICAL NETWORKS IN 2023:

TERRESTRIAL FIBRE Serge Melle , Director, IP-Optical Product Marketing, Nokia, says that going into 2023, a common trend that is expected to continue is network operators’ need to further scale their optical networks. The industry is in the midst of major build-outs of high-speed access infrastructures; either Distributed Access Architectures (DAA) by cable operators, increased fibreisation and deployment of Passive Optical Networks (PONs) by CSPs, and continuing 5G roll-outs and mobile traffic backhaul. All of these will put continued pressure to sustainably and economically scale metro and long- haul optical networks. He says, “Some new technology developments that will provide the next milestones in sustaining this need for bandwidth growth include the next generation of coherent optics becoming available and leveraging the now maturing industry eco-system for 5nm silicon integrated circuits. These new performance-optimised coherent photonic engines are expected to incorporate several new innovations, including tight co-optimisation of coherent modem digital signal processors (DSPs) and silicon photonic (SiP) modulators and detectors, integrated into digital coherent optic

operators to double the capacity of their existing fibre optic networks, without incurring the significant cost and time delays associated with building new fibre optic cable infrastructures. Whereas C+L optical line systems were until recently used in a select few networks, they are now seeing ever-wider adoption across both long-haul and metro networks with network operators across the globe. One can expect to see new capabilities in C+L line systems that further simplify and facilitate their use in these applications.” PERFORMANCE Fujitsu’s CTO and optical expert Rod Naphan believes there are three key areas which will see development in the coming year; performance in long-haul networks, simplification in the network, and sustainability. Citing recent research by Cignal.AI which estimates long-haul will grow three times faster than Metro in the coming years, the said he believed this to be the case due to the growth of 5G, the move towards remote working in suburban areas, and the webscale companies pushing the envelope on bit rates. He added, “On performance, a lot of the bit rates today are 100G, in the long haul. but I think the new currency will be 400G. There’s 800G systems today, but the higher 800G systems running in the 90-something baud rate

(DCO) transceiver modules that operate at speeds of 120Gbaud or higher, and capable of wavelength speeds of 1.2 terabits per second (Tbps). This will enable more efficient coherent transport by reducing power per bit, and enable network operators to deploy fewer coherent optics for a given amount of network capacity; thereby further reducing network power consumption, and lowering total cost of operations (TCO).” This trend of close DSP-SiP integration, he adds, will also drive the next generation of pluggable DCOs optimised for use in router ports, supporting speeds of 800Gbps per wavelength, which are expected to make their appearance later in 2023 or early 2024. Also leveraging 5nm silicon node technology, these will be optimised to leverage the gains of Moore’s Law towards reducing power consumption, in order to fit into standardised transceiver form factors such as QSFP-DD800 or OSFP 4.0. In other parts of the optical network, Melle says that another area to watch in 2023 is the ever-greater use of WDM optical line systems that support operation across C and L bands of the fibre spectrum. He explains, “These so- called ‘C+L’ line systems enable network




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loop liquid cooling systems that can be designed in a way that are consistent with current operations and are reliable and will in some cases, improve the reliability of equipment. I think overall, we’re going to see systems that are designed from the ground up much more consciously with sustainability in mind.” SUBSEA FIBRE One of the big growth areas in fibre optics in 2022 was international subsea cables, with new contracts being announced almost monthly. Philip deGuzman , Director of Client Solutions at Pioneer Consulting, who has over a decade of experience in the undersea cable industry, says the evolution of wet and dry plant submarine cable system technologies continue to lead the way in the industry. He predicts that based on these technologies that have seen increased adoption over the last few years, 2023 will see further developments in two areas. He says, “The first trend we’ll see continue to gain traction is the use of space division multiplexing technology (SDM), which enables combining many optical fibres within a single undersea cable. Soon it will not be uncommon to see undersea cables installed with 32, 48, or even 64 fibres, where just recently a 24-fibre cable was considered to be a large number.” He asks, “Is it crazy to think that 16 fibre pairs and 200 Gbps transmission rates with an undersea cable are considered “outdated” technology as 2022 comes to a close?” The second trend deGuzman identifies, which has been at the forefront of almost all recent submarine cable projects is known as an “open cable” system. This is the complete separation of the supply of “wet plant” (cable, repeaters, branching units, etc.) from the “dry plant” (optical transmission equipment) and provides flexibility to cable system owners and operators

by allowing them to choose the transmission equipment vendor of their choice. He says, “The combination of SDM technology and open cable systems has allowed recently completed undersea cable systems to transmit as much as 320 Tbps of data across 16 fibre pairs. Such a cable could transmit the entire Netflix database in a matter of seconds. Although this cable system may seem to have enough capacity, 2023 is sure to see this grow even further. Already, NEC Corporation has been contracted to build a 24 fibre pair undersea cable system across the Atlantic. In addition, HMN Technologies has completed development of a 32 fibre pair undersea optical repeater (amplifier) prototype, paving the way for a 32 fibre pair cable system to be contracted in the near future.” He explains, “When a high fibre count cable is combined with optical transmission equipment capable of transmitting data up to 600 Gbps on each line-card, it’s exciting to think about the amount of data possible on these future cable systems. With open cable systems becoming the norm, cable owners and operators can have their pick from vendors such as Ciena, Cisco, Infinera, and Nokia. Although SDM technology and open cable systems have and will continue to dominate the subsea cable industry in 2023, many other innovations continue to be discussed between cable suppliers, operators, owners, and investors. I’m certainly looking forward to all the exciting things that 2023 has to offer!” As Melle concludes, “The great thing about the optical networking industry is that the need for ever-more network bandwidth seems to never go away, and this continues to drive exciting new innovations into all parts of the optical networking ecosystem, and 2023 will be no exception.”

range only get a certain performance at 400 Gig and very little performance at 800 Gig. So I think what they really need is 400 Gig to go coast to coast. So, we’re going to see technologies coming in to the network in 2023 that go from 100 Gig to 400 Gig to 800 Gig to over a Terabit, and that means that you can meaningfully do 400 Gig anywhere and you can practically do 800 Gig in most places.” SIMPLICITY On simplifying the network, Naphan says while there are available technologies which can reduce cabling complexity in the network, automation will play an important role. He says, “In addition to massive cable reduction, I think you’re going to see software play a central role in the next generation of subsystems. This includes things like zero touch provisioning, and open SDN controllers that are truly multi-vendor, depending on the API set, and even support for multiple different standard API’s, for example, OLS and the open ROADM standards. You need to be able to do so in a way that allows you to dial however much openness versus proprietary performance that the customer wants, which is about which API’s you’re using and what capability you have in the systems. This has been the promise for a long time, but I think what’s now becoming very practical is to start using AI and machine learning algorithms in these systems for many different use cases. However, it’s not just a software challenge, what we’re going to see is hardware systems that are designed to be more cognisant, to have more sensors in place, to be able to provide more data points, and more aggregation of data into software systems to really understand the physics of what’s going on in the network.” SUSTAINABILITY “The carbon footprint of networks is becoming more top of mind for executives that are now really having to consider what their environmental social governance policies are for their companies,” says Naphan. “I think we’re going to see a lot of innovation in sustainability. One of the things about going to higher bit rates is it’s enabled by adopting the latest geometries and silicon, which of course, has a power reduction per bit advantage. Also I think we’re going to see technologies like those developed by Fujitsu’s supercomputer business and the Fugaku computer systems. They have used liquid cooling capabilities for a long time and we’ve seen a lot of experiments in the optical and telecoms industries, but nothing practical so far. I do believe however that the time is right for closed

Serge Melle Director, IP-Optical Product Marketing, Nokia

Rod Naphan Chief Technical Officer, Fujitsu

Philip deGuzman Director of Client Solutions, Pioneer Consulting




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