Spring 2019 Optical Connections Magazine

ISSUE 16 | Q1 2019


GOING THE DISTANCE The evolution of long-haul tech p18

KEEPING IT TIDY Managing a multitude of fibres p9

SDN What’s driving adoption? p22

ON LAND AND SEA Terrestrial tech goes sub-sea p14



4 9

Industry News

Ellen Manning Keeping it Tidy

With the massive growth in capacity, driven by the rise of international datacentres, streaming video and ultimately 5G and IoT, sub-sea networks are becoming more important than ever. In this issue, Matthew Peach looks at how long-haul technologies are evolving to meet these growing needs. In a similar vein, Ciena’s Brian Lavallée talks to Optical Connections about how technologies developed for terrestrial networks, such as coherent networking, are finding their way into sub-sea domain. Long-haul is not the whole story however, there is the almost no-man’s land of middle-distance transport. Lightwave Logic’s Karen Liu explains that there is a technology gap opening up in mid-range optics that reach beyond 10km and up to around 100km. But distance is not everything. Speed is an issue that is currently applying pressure on sharpest minds in the industry. Antony Savvas reflects on the fact that we’ve had the widescale roll-out of commercial 200G and the bedding down of the first 400G deployments, and asks what comes next in the speed jigsaw, how will it be introduced and what is driving it? Then there’s the issue of transmission technologies. Wavelength Division Multiplexing (WDM) has become both a mainstay and a fast-growing element of high capacity optical networking, and John Williamson looks at the latest developments and the obvious attractions of getting more bandwidth out of existing fibre with Coarse WDM (CWDM) and Dense WDM (DWDM). Of course, there’s more to fibre networks than the heavy lifting of optical transport. For instance, where all those optical fibres come together, there’s potential for confusion. Ellen Manning looks at how the massive demand for new fibre connections has created a large number of bottlenecks right across the physical network layer and examines how enabling access to individual connectors and reliability are among the issues driving manufacturers to develop innovative solutions for physical connectivity. In addition, there’s the problem of getting fibre into customer’s premises, and in particular multiple dwelling units (MDUs). Rolling out FTTH is rarely a simple job and the difficulties multiply when providing service to individual households in apartment blocks. Given the number of such multiple dwelling units in Europe alone, it is clear that a ubiquitous solution is required. Jamie McGee, MDU product specialist at Emtelle looks at the difficulties and possible solutions. Looking at networks as a whole, Precision OT’s CTO Chris Page, explains how the widening number of use cases for SDN is paving the way for the rise of open standards, open source software and open source-design products to diminish vendor-lock and accelerate deployments. So, in this first issue of the new year, there is plenty to think about and discuss. We hope you find it interesting and we look forward to discussing these issues at the up- coming industry events. FIBRE NETWORKS IN IT FOR THE LONG HAUL

12 Peter Dykes

FTTH in Europe

14 Brian Lavallée

On Land and Sea

16 Antony Savvas Beyond 400G 18 Matthew Peach

Going the Distance

22 Chris Page

SDN Comes to

Access Networks

24 John Williamson Riding the Wave 26 Karen Liu Stuck in the Middle 30 Jamie McGee

Fibre to the Apartment

32 Peter Dykes

FTTH Conference Preview

34 Peter Dykes OFC Preview 36 Event Focus 39 Product Focus

Peter Dykes Contributing Editor, Optical Connections

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ISSUE 16 | Q1 2019


“How can connectivity bottlenecks be reduced in the physical layer?”

EllenManning – see page 9

Netherlands hits 3 million fibre optic connections On February 8th 2019 it was announced that the Netherlands had clocked up 3 million fibre optic connections. The we have really started to gain momentum with the installation of fibre optics across the country. Particularly in the outlying area, various parties are That is the ambition of the government that we work with together with businesses and local authorities,” added State 150,000 addresses from eight different provinces will be able to use fast Internet,” forecast Glasvezel buitenaf director Michiel Admiraal. “Every day about 1,500

announcement was made at a ceremony attended by Mona Keijzer, Dutch State Secretary of Economic Affairs and Climate, and representatives from national broadband trade association NLconnect, the contractor

Secretary Keijzer. “We are a global leader with our digital infrastructure, so we have to take steps now to stay that way. That is necessary, because in the coming years all kinds of daily affairs will be continuously connected to the Internet: cars, agriculture, healthcare, robots, but also household appliances.” “In the countryside, fast Internet was not a matter of course for years. Since 2015 we have been engaged in the construction of optical fibre in the outlying areas of the Netherlands. Soon

people are working for us to realise this. The expertise we have built up with this is desperately needed to connect our ambition to include the approximately 150,000 remaining rural addresses.”

actively involved, but increasingly successful projects are also taking place in nuclei (centres) and on industrial estates,” explained Mathieu Andriessen, director of NLconnect. “Contractors, suppliers, grid managers and providers work with joint efforts to make the Gigabit future possible. There is still a lot of work to be done, but this milestone confirms that we are on the right track.” “Fast Internet, available everywhere and for everyone: fixed and mobile.

GNT, and rural fibre network company Glasvezel buitenaf.

The Dutch research firm Stratix publishes an annual tally of fibre

The milestone customer was the De Neeth farm museum/educational establishment on the outskirts of Aalten. “As a broadband industry,

optic connections in the Netherlands. In 2018 the national total increased by 200,000. This represented a doubling compared to the year before.

Emtelle launches dedicated fibre solutions team for operators

European institute taps iXblue for Sicilian geodetic mission

iXblue, which provides solutions for navigation, subsea positioning and underwater imaging, has been chosen by the European Institute for Marine Studies (IUEM) to provide eight Canopus LBL transponders for a major geodetic mission off the coast of Sicily. Deployed on the seabed, 2,500 metres below the North-South Alfeo faults with a millimetre-scale resolution over the course of four years. Hubert Pelletier, head of iXblue Acoustic division, commented, “Because the Canopus transponders precisely meet the exacting requirements of such a long-term subsea project, iXblue was chosen to provide autonomous and continuous monitoring of the movements of the tectonic plates along a two-kilometre segment of the North-South Alfeo faults. Installed on the seafloor along the faults, our transponder network will measure, over surface, the Canopus transponder network will measure the crustal deformation along the

the next four years, the acoustic distance travel- time from one transponder to another to precisely determine their accurate distance. Therefore, the IUEM will then be able to better characterise the way the fault behaves and will gain valuable insight into seismic risks.” Enhancing iXblue’s offer in subsea positioning solutions, the Canopus LBL transponder was developed in tight collaboration with several major scientific partners. It is designed for scientific and industrial applications that require high autonomy, instrumentation, repeatability and accuracy. With its hundreds of acoustic codes for environments without any acoustic interferences. It features underwater acoustic communication between transponders, transceivers and surface equipment and embeds environmental temperature, pressure, sound velocity and inclinometer sensors. interrogation and reply, Canopus can be used in the most complex

Emtelle, a provider of blown fibre, cabling and ducted solutions for the FTTx industry, has created

cost-effective” path to new fibre installations, as demand for new technologies like 5G and the Internet of Things “places more and more pressure on their existing infrastructures.” during 2019 by revealing new solutions capable of “opening up accessibility” for new deployments and “strengthening capabilities to enable future-proof deployments.” Emtelle said it will expand its portfolio Tony Rodgers, CEO at Emtelle, said: “Colin is a respected industry leader in the development of passive network infrastructure solutions and his twenty-five years’ expertise has paved the way for his appointment. He will further our commitment to developing and offering new market leading solutions, combining the highest value with the lowest total cost of ownership.” Kirkpatrick already held senior positions at the company before taking on the new role at the company’s headquarters in Hawick, Scotland.

a dedicated solutions team to design, test and manufacture new

systems on behalf of new customers. Focusing on developing new products and solutions that can be quickly brought to market, the new solutions team will be headed by Colin Kirkpatrick as solutions director. He said: “As a blown fibre and ducted dedicated solutions team is the next logical step for Emtelle.” He said: “The development will build on our existing offering and allow us to partner with operators to create tailor-made solutions for their specific needs – something which is becoming increasingly important as new network challenges emerge.” Kirkpatrick said the team will ensure that operators have the “easiest and most networks technology leader with a proven portfolio, creating a


| ISSUE 16 | Q1 2019



Fraunhofer HHI in TERIPHIC terabit optical module drive

Data-transmitting light signal boosted by nanosized amplifier

Germany’s Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute has announced its participation in the innovative EU- Horizon 2020 research project TERIPHIC. This project, which formally kicked off in Berlin in late January, is taking place against a background of efforts to develop optical interfaces with Terabit capacity for datacom applications. The Institute notes that a practical path to the Terabit regime is to scale the current 400G modules. These are based (in the most forward- looking version of the standards) on four parallel lanes, each operating with PAM4 at 53 Gbaud. Scaling these modules by adding lanes looks simple, but entails challenges with respect to the fabrication and assembly complexity that can critically affect their manufacturability and cost. Netherlands, say that for the first time they have succeeded in connecting two parts of an electronics chip using an on-chip optical link. A light connection could, for example, be a safer means of connecting high-power electronics and digital control circuitry on one chip, without a direct electrical link. Until now, however, an optical link was not possible using standard silicon chip technology. Vishal Agarwal, a UT PhD student, has managed to do so. He worked out how to develop a very small optocoupler circuit that delivers a data rate measured in megabits per second, and in an energy-efficient way. Using light, it is possible to isolate one part of a Researchers of the University of Twente,

With international collaboration, researchers at Aalto University, Finland, have developed a nanosized amplifier to help light signals propagate through microchips. In their study published in Nature Communications, the researchers show that signal attenuation can be significantly reduced when data is transferred inside a microchip, for example, from one processor to another. “Photonics, or light transfer that is already widely used in internet connections, is increasingly being used by microcircuit systems because light is a more energy efficient and faster way of transferring data than electricity. The increase in information also requires an increase in performance. Boosting performance through electronic methods is getting to be very difficult, which is why we’re looking towards The researchers made their breakthrough with the help of a Finnish invention known as: the atomic layer deposition method. According to the team, this approach is ideal for processing various kinds of microcircuits, as it plays an important role in manufacturing the latest microprocessors. So far, the atomic layer deposition method has been used mainly in electronic applications. However, the newly released study indicates that photonics for answers,” commented doctoral candidate John Rönn.

possible applications also exist in photonics. In the development of photonics, new components must also ideally work cooperatively with electronics-based systems. “Silicon is a key material in electronics, and that’s why it’s also included in our light amplifiers together with the amplification element erbium,” said Rönn. “Today’s compound semiconductors, which are used, for instance, in LED technology, can also be used effectively in light amplification. That being said, most compound semiconductors are not compatible with silicon, which is a problem for mass production.” The Nature Communications study also shows that a light signal can be potentially boosted in all kinds of structures and that the structure of a microchip is not limited to a specific type. The results indicate that atomic layer deposition is a promising method for developing microchip photonic processes. “Our international collaboration made a breakthrough with one component: a nanosized amplifier. The amplification that we got was very significant. But we’ll still need more components before light can completely replace electricity in data transfer systems. The first possible applications are in nanolasers, and in sending and amplifying data,” says Professor Zhipei Sun.

TERIPHIC aims to address these challenges by leveraging photonic integration concepts and developing a seamless chain of component fabrication, assembly automation and module characterisation processes as the basis for high-volume production lines of Terabit modules. The project will bring together EML arrays in the O-band, PD arrays and a polymer chip that will act as the host platform for the integration of the arrays and the wavelength mux-demux of the lanes. The integration will rely on butt-end coupling steps, which will be automated via the development of module specific alignment and attachment processes on commercial equipment. The optical subassembly will be mounted on the mainboard of the module together with linear driver and TIA arrays. chip from another: the two different worlds will be able to communicate, but there is no electrical connection. In “smart power” chips, for example, the high-power part can be isolated from the digital control circuits. Such isolation ensures safe operation in applications like medical electronics and automotive systems. A so-called “optocoupler” is demanded by such situations, but until now, this has always been a relatively bulky device, and separated from the actual electronic chip. The ideal solution, proposed Agarwal, is to have an on-chip optocoupler, which he has now realised. electronics using standard chip technology (CMOS). It measures only 0.008 mm2 in size and consumes “minimal” energy. His optocoupler can be integrated with the

Light connects two worlds on single chip

Data-transmitting light signal boosted by nanosized amplifier



ISSUE 16 | Q1 2019


“Long-haul technologies evolve to meet growing needs.”

Matthew Peach – see page 18

First field trial for Nokia’s PSE 3 DSP technology In preparation for the roll- out of its state-of-the-art Bavarian WDM network, German operator M-net has become the first carrier wavelength over a deployed regional network, utilising PCS to shape the signal from its maximum capacity of envelope on our state-of- the-art fibre-optic network, and to be the first carrier to publicly test the PSE-3 and its probabilistic constellation shaping technology.” In an exclusive interview with Optical Connections magazine, Bucci said of PCE 3, “We now have a

solution where we pick one modulation scheme and then through PCS we are able to shape the constellation that contains the data to best fit the application that’s required in a link. We are able to do so right up against the Shannon Limit, so we maximise capacity and performance with PCS. It’s not just that we’re doubling the capacity, we’re making it truly automated and very simple to operate. No more guesswork about which modulation scheme to use.” without having to replace their existing equipment. With this next generation of technology, Ekinops is halving the per-100G port costs compared to the previous generation, while improving operational efficiency by lowering the footprint and power consumption required to deliver a gigabit of data. By delivering higher rate channels, PM 400FRS04 increases fibre capacity and at the same time it simplifies network operations as fewer wavelengths need to be managed. The PM 400FRS04-SF also provides another level of flexibility beyond its FlexRate capabilities with its support for single fibre transport. Bi-directional operation over a single fibre strand significantly reduces operational expense by allowing service providers to cut their fibre costs in half. Alternatively, single fibre operation can also be used to generate additional revenue on dual fibre spans by allowing each fibre to support different applications such as metro and long haul, and giving service providers the ability to generate better ROI from their fibre investment.

600G to a rate optimised for the specific fibre route used in the test. This high level of performance and flexibility enables M-net to maximise the capacity of every network fibre, ensuring their backbone will meet the demands of soaring video traffic and 5G mobile broadband. Dr. Hermann Rodler, CTO at M-net, said, “This field trial clearly underlines the innovative strength of M-net. We are very proud to collaborate with Nokia to push the technology

to trial Nokia’s Photonic Service Engine 3 (PSE 3) coherent digital signal processing technology. The PSE-3 is the first DSP to implement probabilistic constellation shaping (PCS), a complex signal processing technique pioneered by Bell Labs which finely adjusts the optical signal to maximise the data-carrying capacity of an optical fibre

Sam Bucci, head of optical networking at Nokia, said, “We’re excited to partner with M-net on the implementation of its new fibre optic Munich played a key role in the development of PCS, and the PSE-3 was largely developed at Nokia’s R&D facility in Nuremberg, so it’s only appropriate that the first field trial of PSE-3 technology would take place in Bavaria.” backbone network. The Technical University of Lannion, France-based Ekinops, a supplier of optical transport equipment and router solutions for service providers and telecom operators, has released its new PM 400FRS04- SF flexible rate line module. This new module triples the capacity of Ekinops’ 200G FlexRate solutions and delivers new levels of flexibility to address market demand for advanced transport capabilities. Supporting high-speed coherent line interfaces from 100Gbps to 600Gbps, the PM 400FRS04-SF provides six QSFP28 client ports aggregated to a software selectable line port that automatically configures the modulation format and baud rate to create the optimal transport link. By selecting the bit rate and distance, the PM 400FRS04- SF automatically tunes its performance based on the settings so it can support any application from very short reach, very high capacity data centre interconnect to long haul and even submarine transport. It can be installed in any Ekinops 360 chassis

over any distance. M-net successfully transmitted 500G per

Furukawa debuts new splicers for speciality fibres

Ekinops debuts 600G FlexRate solution

Furukawa Electric has debuted its FITEL S185 series of fusion splicers specifically designed for splicing specialty optical fibres used in optical components, fibre lasers, and optical sensors. The company says that as manufacturers increasingly use specialised fibres for constructing optical components and fibre lasers, conventional fusion splicers are proving unwieldy, expensive, and unsuitable for these applications. By emphasising functions critical to manufacturing and removing extraneous features, Furukawa has created the S185 Fusion Splicer series – a line of more compact, cost-effective, and efficient splicers for use in production and with specialised fibres including Polarisation-Maintaining Fibre (PM Fibre) and Large-

Diameter Fibre (LDF). The FITEL S185 Fusion Splicer series currently

features three splicers: the S185PM, the S185HS and the S185LDF. While the S185PM and S185HS splicers are designed for use with PM Fibre for optical components, the S185LDF splicer was developed for use with LDF in constructing and maintaining fibre lasers. Among the features of the S185 Fusion Splicer series are low splice loss – a new mechanism ensures even greater accuracy in fibre alignment; compact main body/footprint; portability with an optional built-in battery; easy operation by LCD screen with touch panel and clamp soft-landing, which reduces the chance of fibre damage from the canopy. A fourth splicer, the S185PMLDF, scheduled for launch in June 2019.

allowing customers to upgrade their networks


| ISSUE 16 | Q1 2019



Viavi presents ‘advanced’ optical filters at Photonics West 2019

that the technology has to offer,” commented Sinclair Vass, VP Sales & Marketing at Viavi’s Optical Security & Performance Division. Vass added, “We have decades of experience in each of these domains and are especially excited about the substantial opportunity for optical filters and engineered diffusers that is ahead of us. As these markets mature, Photonics West is becoming a key opportunity for VIAVI to have meaningful discussions with our most important customers as well as with leaders from across the photonics industry.”

Viavi Solutions presented a range of advanced optical filters for sensing systems at Photonics West 2019, in San Francisco, last week. In parallel with emerging technologies, the company says it is “continuing to develop and deploy next- generation optical filters for advanced applications spanning across several industry verticals.” The company also commented that research shows that the global optical sensor market is set to experience rapid growth and is expected to reach US$26.88 billion by the end of 2023. There is pressure to produce and that is creating new challenges in the competitive landscape of optical filter manufacturing including cost constraints, precision and scalability. The company stated, “We continue to adapt to the changing market demands and, to date, Viavi has

These diffusers are advanced beam shapers capable of homogenising an input beam while shaping the output intensity profile and the way light is distributed. “Demand for photonics is rapidly changing as innovative new applications such as 3D sensing, IoT sensing, augmented/virtual reality and automotive LiDAR

produced and shipped in total more than one billion filters for a diverse range of applications.” LiDAR windows are durable, temperature NIR-AR prototype windows that enable seamless integration of LiDAR systems into the body of a vehicle. The windows utilise VIAVI LAS (low-angle shift) filtering technology, also known as “narrow band” functionality. The window will be on display and available for live demos. The MicroNIR OnSite-W is the smallest fully-integrated NIR spectrometer on the market and operates using Viavi’s Linear Variable Filter technology. This meter provides users with rapid, real-time, non-destructive near infrared material analysis. The third new product is the RPC Photonics Engineered Diffuser, a new addition to the optical filtering range.

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ISSUE 16 | Q1 2019

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| ISSUE 16 | Q1 2019




The massive demand for new fibre connections has created a large number of bottlenecks right across the physical network layer. Enabling access to individual connectors and reliability are among the issues driving manufacturers to develop innovative solutions for physical connectivity. Ellen Manning looks at some of the latest developments.

W hen optical networks were first built, things were fairly simple. Connect fibres from A to B, make sure engineers can access them to reconfigure a network when necessary and it’s done. Simple - until the demands on those networks grew exponentially, bringing the need for more and more fibres. Set that growth against a finite resource - space, whether in data centres, cell sites or street cabinets - and things aren’t quite so simple. With space at a premium, says Andreas Silas, market portfolio manager of fibre management systems at Huber & Suhner, nobody wants to waste it on fibre management systems when they could be using it for active equipment. Michael Zammit, VP and GM, Connectivity Solutions at Go!Foton, agrees. “You would rather have expensive servers and routers that are putting services onto the network where you can be generating

customers and new antennas. If they can’t reasonably go in and access these individual fibres that are now in an even more compact environment, you’re going to create problems.” STAYING AHEAD OF THE GAME With so much at stake, while fibre managements systems may not be the rock stars of the optical fibre world, without them there’s no concert at all and with no sign of demand letting up, vendors are keen to stay one step ahead. At Huber & Suhner, various solutions are addressing the challenges. They include structured cabling solutions including its new LISA Double Access fibre management system, as well as recently-launched IANOS high-density

revenue, but instead you’re having to allocate your real estate resources to simply managing the pipe.” The issue doesn’t just apply to data centres, says Zammit. “In some cases, like in the mobile network now where everybody’s going bananas about 5G, they’re going out to existing cell-site locations and saying, ‘jeez we need to put in twice as much fibre and we’ve got no space’. How do you go into these little compact spaces that are already fully congested and double your fibre capacity?” There’s also the issue of what happens when something goes wrong. With thousands of fibres squeezed into tiny spaces, what was once a relatively simple job is nearly impossible. “When you’re talking about densification, you have a situation that can create a tremendous amount of chaos”, says Zammit. “It is necessary in the operations of these complex networks for technicians to go in there and do their thing, whether it’s adding new subscribers, doing diagnostic testing or connecting new

inter-connects. “It’s very high density so we have many fibres




ISSUE 16 | Q1 2019


back to a known configuration at any time, that provides a quantum step up in terms of capability in their network managements.” When it comes to beneficial by- products of fibre management systems, ROME’s ability to track network configurations isn’t the only one. Developments in high density solutions are also tackling other issues like aesthetics, says Zammit. “Let’s say you’re in an urban metropolitan downtown area and you need to serve some of these small cells at top of light poles. One of the biggest issues service providers have is getting approval to put all this new hardware up. Nobody likes to see these unattractive boxes and antennas, so by bringing high density solutions, those additional ports that you’re putting in can be substantially smaller, maybe less obtrusive visually.” It means vendors can effectively repackage technologies developed for data centres for other parts of the network from 5G to small cell and fibre-to-the-home, he said. Go!Foton is debuting a new product specifically for that purpose at this year’s OFC. “We’ve taken PEACOC and put it into a very compact, cylindrical enclosure that can be mounted onto existing strand and serve fibre to the customer, whether that’s a residential customer, a small antenna on a light pole, or any of these other numerous types of sensors. Think about the IoT environment - every traffic light, camera, street light - a lot of it is going to have a fibre going to it and you need to connect it to the network at some point.” KEEPING IT CHEAP The work in this area is ongoing. For Ellis, it’s the beginning of a strong uplift in technology like ROME, which finally provides a scalable solution at a manageable price. “We’re bringing a solution to market where the cost is orders of magnitude per port cheaper, the optical characteristics are exceptionally good and we are

doing it in a very efficient way, so we’re giving all of that flexibility, all of that management, all of the auditing and visibility but we’re not charging the earth for it.” And for those who might be reticent to invest in this area, the implications of ignoring the issue are large, warn experts. David Rifkin, product category manager – datacom at Hellermann Tyton, which offers a series of indoor and outdoor enclosures including its RapidNet solution, says while many fibre connectors seem to have many years of service in them, the increase in fibres means continued development is necessary. “The easier it is to protect, route and re-commission these fibres will be the key to supporting reliable networks in the future,” he says. “With many of the traditional and larger copper solutions being replaced with compact, higher bandwidth and longer lasting fibre solutions, the way these are being connected needs to be a major focus to eliminate premature replacement or field failures requiring full replacement.” NO END TO IT For Zammit, there are “tremendous” implications if thought isn’t put into how networks are grown. “There really is no end and the continual need to put more and more fibre into the ground, this whole 5G, small cells, it is just exacerbating the whole issue. First it was fibre to the home and now the number of antennas in any urban or residential area is growing exponentially. And sure, it’s all wireless to the end device, but those wireless devices need to get back onto the network and the existing facilities are already at saturation.” He concludes, “You have a choice of either continue to dump more money into more rack space, more facilities, new pedestals and enclosures, or you try to evolve your existing fibre infrastructure to be able to more densely reconfigure the way you access the network. And that’s what these high-density solutions are intending to do.”

on the smallest footprint possible and you can add different modules for splice application, pure patch application, transition modules and conversion modules,” says Silas. “It all depends what kind of backbone cabling or horizontal cable you have that forces you to use different kinds of modules. It’s futureproof - as soon as demand changes, they don’t have to remove the wall distribution panel, you only remove a very small panel.” At Go!Foton, its PEACOC high-density patch panel is one way of dealing with densification, tackling the difficulties faced by technicians monitoring or maintaining the network. By spreading out the optical fibres, PEACOC allows technicians to reach the ones they need - something they physically can’t do due to the sheer volume of cables. “It allows or creates that additional space for access,” says Zammit. AUTOMATING CONNECTIVITY While Software Defined Networking is the watchword across much of the industry, one area where it has always been difficult to automate the network is the physical connectivity. At Wave2Wave, its ROME switches are providing the answer. “If you think of the old patch panel where an engineer would walk up with a patch lead and plug one end into one port and the other into another port, what we now have is a robotic unit that can join those two ports together optically,” explains Duncan Ellis, director EMEA, Wave2Wave. “That allows us to dynamically reconfigure the network, to change connections, add in more capacity, change the path, all of those things we wanted to do before, from anywhere in the world.” That in itself sounds beneficial, but according to Ellis it’s another bonus that is winning people over - ROME’s database system. While record-keeping can make it difficult to keep track of network configurations, ROME tells you exactly what is connected to what. “ROME has a fully-integrated database system that keeps a record of every connection that’s made, those connections that are current and those that are historical,” says Ellis. “So, another area where ROME brings huge value is I can now query my network, I can see the live connectivity, I can record that, I can make changes and if I need to roll back I can fall back to a known configuration because I’ve got all the records. “This is an area where we’re getting a huge amount of interest and the automation is almost a ‘well that’s a nice to have, but I really want it because I can now see what my network configuration is’.” That kind of thing is especially useful for big data centre players, says Ellis. “The ability to see what connections are in place, which ports are connected to which, how the network is configured and then make quick changes and roll

You have a choice of either continue to dump more money into more rack space, more facilities, new pedestals and enclosures, or you try to evolve your existing fibre infrastructure



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T oday the information age is giving way to an to large information repositories, instant communications (audio/video), and a platform for discourse affecting geopolitics. With the acquisition of Oclaro in December of 2018, Lumentum seized first-mover advantage in a consolidating optical communications industry. It reaffirms a leadership role and underscores the focus on accelerating proven innovative photonic chip design, cost-effective highly-scalable manufacturing, and leveraging foundational technologies for component and subsystem solutions. Lumentum has augmented its foundational technologies leveraging materials expertise in gallium arsenide (GaAs), and indium phosphide (InP) for advanced global manufacturing capabilities. Successfully orchestrating the right combination of these disparate resources yields economies of scale at the fundamental photonic chip level. This strength gives Lumentum a differentiated leadership position for wireless, access, and datacom markets. Lumentum can point to examples where the company was “first-to-scale” and “first-to-market” in ROADMs, CFP2-ACO, EMLs, amongst others. Lumentum has a wide array of laser chips (EMLs, DMLs, and VCSELS) enabling many products including 100G Lambda MSA- compliant 400G modules including QSFP56-DD FR4, OSFP FR4, 100G single lambda QSFP28 DR/FR, and 25GE SFP28 LR. Lumentum’s combination of foundational InP chip technology, scalable wafer fabrication, and robust IP yields sophisticated digital coherent transmission products. The CFP2-DCO 100G/200G pluggable transceiver is a CFP2 MSA-compliant digital coherent optical module designed for line-side trunk DWDM data center interconnect (DCI), metro carrier, and regional/long haul applications. Along with earlier intelligence revolution: data at hyperscale speeds, nearly 50 billion devices communicating with each other, broader wireless coverage areas, and an explosion of content. The internet has become the great enabler – giving the connected access

generation modules, Lumentum has consistently demonstrated support of open networks with top-tier networking equipment manufacturers (NEMs) systems and graybox platforms. Lumentum offers a complete and comprehensive portfolio of ROADMs, amplifiers, and optical channel monitors that provide switching, routing, and signal conditioning. ROADM adoption and deployment are now occurring worldwide at unprecedented levels across telco, web, and cable operator networks. Over two decades of experience in optical transport, especially with wavelength selective switch (WSS) products, has given Lumentum a deep reservoir of intellectual property and application awareness. Lumentum has extensive foundational expertise in free space optics, LCoS, MEMs, PLC, and GaAs technology, all of which are integral to constructing sophisticated ROADM-based line systems. Convergence around colorless directionless (CD) and colorless directionless and contentionless (CDC) ROADM network architectures has provided clarity on roadmaps and enabled innovation focus. The TrueFlex® Contentionless Twin 8x24 is an excellent example of combining multiple foundational elements into an innovative solution. The TrueFlex Contentionless Twin 8x24 delivers low loss, removing the need for multiple erbium-doped fiber amplifier (EDFA) arrays in many network designs while enabling add/drop port scaling to support capacity growth in CDC networks. With the completion of the Oclaro acquisition, customers can take advantage of best-in-class products. The combination of the two companies promises to accelerate the development of new innovative solutions. Leveraging an expanded global manufacturing

capability, advanced testing, and quality regimens, helps to solidify an industry- leading position for Lumentum.



ISSUE 16 | Q1 2019



As the FTTH Conference Europe approaches, the state of FTTH across the continent is patchy. While some countries are forging ahead, others are just getting started, with governments and operators alike expressing high ambitions for the market. Peter Dykes looks at the current state of play.

A head of the much- anticipated release of already clear that 2018 was the year FTTH really took off in Europe, but it’s not the same story in every country. The big question this year will be if countries such as Latvia, which had a roughly 50% mix of FTTH and FTTB will continue to lead the table of European countries with the greatest fibre penetration. In February 2019, Mona Keijzer, Dutch State Secretary of Economic Affairs and Climate, and representatives from national broadband trade association NLconnect, the contractor GNT, and rural fibre network company Glasvezel buitenaf, announced that fibre optic connections in The Netherlands had reached three million (see page 4). Of the larger European countries, Spain was eighth overall in the Panorama with 33.9% household penetration, although this was the highest figure for pure FTTH anywhere in Europe. In January 2019, Spain’s MASMOVIL Group, the fourth largest telecommunications operator in Spain and claimed to have achieved a new commercial milestone by recently surpassing the total figure of 1 million fixed broadband customers. Of its total the FTTH Council’s FTTH penetration figures at the Amsterdam conference and expo in March, it is

across 22 English counties and currently covers over 65,000 homes and businesses, delivering 1Gbps FTTP to under-served communities. The UK government has stepped in with a call from the National Infrastructure Commission for greater investment in a digitally driven economy, meaning the noises coming from the Government have been positive. The vision is for full fibre connectivity for every business and home by 2033. While this pronouncement has largely been welcomed, some of the new FTTH providers have expressed a degree of caution. Evan Weinburg, co-founder and CEO of full-fibre infrastructure provider Truespeed, which is rolling out FTTH in the rural south West of England and is currently adding new customers at over 1,600 per month, welcomes the Government’s initiative but says, “Of course, the devil is in the detail. 2033 is in reality a very ambitious target, given the huge complexity involved in such a vast infrastructure overhaul. Speak to any FTTH provider across Europe right now and they too will acknowledge the huge challenges involved. This means the choices that come next are going to be critical in determining whether or not 2033 is a realistic goal or a literal pipedream.”

fixed broadband customers, close to 67% correspond to fibre optic customers, while, in terms of new additions, 83% are through FTTH technology. In France, which at the beginning of 2018 had less than 5% FTTH penetration, the picture is far more mixed, but with 1.9 million additional accesses in 2018, the number of active subscriptions reached 8.4 million at the end of 3Q18. Most of the growth coming from the increase in end-to-end fibre optic subscriptions. At the end of that quarter, the number of end-to-end fibre optic accesses reached 4.3 million lines, a growth rate of 1.4 million in a year. FTTH/P now accounts for nearly 15% of the French total broadband technology mix. At the other end of the scale, or to be more accurate off the bottom of the scale, the UK did not even make it on to FTTH Council’s Market Panorama for 2018. It is fair to say the UK FTTH market is characterised by ambition and promises, however there are independent infrastructure suppliers that rapidly rolling out FTTH in various regions of the country. While the major operators seem to be largely concentrating on urban areas, the independents are looking mainly at connecting under-served rural areas. For example, Gigaclear Networks has deployed a 100G transport network


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The Lumentum TrueFlex® Contentionless Twin 8x24 WSS—the solution for relentless network trafc growth.

The inherently low insertion loss of the contentionless MxN WSS-based add/drop structure, means users can now avoid adding costly, power-hungry amplier arrays to their network architectures. And unlike multicast switch implementations, the contentionless MxN WSS has passband ltering on both add and drop ports, which allows easy scaling as capacity grows.

Our new MxN WSS technology offers network operators improved performance and lower total cost of ownership over other legacy technologies for next-generation CDC ROADM networks.

For more information, download our white paper.

Visit us at OFC 2019, booth #2300.



ON SEA Terrestrial Optical Tech goes under the sea LAND AND

Submarine and terrestrial networks were once very separate parts of the communications industry with their own unique technologies. However, demand for ever-increasing capacity on the terrestrial side and the growth of international datacentres has led to the convergence of these two domains in terms of the solutions being applied. Peter Dykes spoke with Brian Lavallée , senior director of Portfolio Marketing with global responsibility for Ciena’s 5G, packet and submarine networking solutions, about the ways in which terrestrial optical network technologies are also being utilised in the sub-sea networks.

networking, which is a completely different way of sending information down fibre. That was designed initially for cross-country terrestrial networks from New York to Los Angeles. Then it found its way into the submarine space, and that’s the technology that’s been used for the last ten years. We’re getting up to multiple hundreds of Gbps per channel, whereas in the past it was just ten. We’re talking orders of magnitude increase. That was the first technology, but other technologies include ROADM’s, analytics, machine learning, artificial intelligence and big data are starting to find their way into submarine networks as well. Ciena has products in most of those areas and again, most of them have been developed for terrestrial networks. Some of them come out of

apply, they cannot carry anything like the capacity needed. So, the industry is starting to look at building increasing diversity, more submarine cables and more protection bandwidth, because when these cables go down, we’re not losing 100 Gbits any more, we’re losing upwards of 100 Tbits.

What are the major issues driving the development of submarine cable technologies?


Getting increased capacity is the main driver. It’s currently running at between 40% and 45% CAGR in all regions. Most of that is being turned up by the content providers such as Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Amazon, who are getting into the market right now. They’re all about capacity for datacentre interconnect, but if you look at it holistically as an industry in general, we’ve been turning up incredible amounts of capacity over the last 10 years and people are starting to wonder how far we can go. There’s no Plan B however, it’s submarine networks or nothing. Satellite networks need not BL

Are technologies developed for terrestrial optical networks being applied to subsea networks? They are in a variety of areas. ten years ago, each channel of a submarine cable was 10Gbps maximum and we transmitted



the information by shuttering the light on and off for ones and zeros. Also ten years ago, we invented coherent


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How will Ciena develop its product set going forward?

be connected with submarine cables to datacentres on the other side of the ocean.

the datacentre space and were being applied to terrestrial networks but are increasingly being applied to submarine networks. In the past, the technology players in the submarine industry were very separate from terrestrial. They were very demarcated. When we came out with coherent networking, we used the exact same technology on land and over sea, so suddenly the networks and technologies, rather than being one on dry land and one under water, are essentially becoming the same. The only real difference is the packaging of the submarine cable.


We’re approaching the Shannon Limit, so we’re actually approaching diminishing returns, because we went from 10G to

Are those cables used exclusively for datacentres or do they carry other traffic as well? Typically, if you have a submarine cable, you’ll have a set of fibre pairs so you’ll have a consortium of which the Internet Presence



40G to 100G and we’re not going to go from 100G to 1Tbps per channel, so the industry is beginning to look at new technologies where you can put more fibre pairs in a submarine cable. We will keep innovating on that side and there’s also the intelligent mesh protection innovation, there’s software development, big data analytics, which is just starting to find its way into the submarine and the terrestrial space, and that will continue going forward. Indeed, we are investing a lot of money in those area.


Providers (IPPs) will be members, so they’ll have their own fibre pairs. Then for example Microsoft and Facebook will have a fibre pair each and a network operator would have the third fibre pair so they all typically share connectivity across the cable.

What protection does submarine cable require to protect it from damage? There are a variety of people and groups protecting cables such as the International Cable Protection Committee


How is 5G going to impact on the submarine cable industry?



How would you characterise the importance of fibre going forward? With all the hype around 5G, and there is a lot, the wireless part of the journey is between your smartphone and the radio which


It will impact on the submarine industry indirectly, but it will impact. Most of the content being served up by Google, Facebook,

for example. They look at procedures around how to install, deploy, manage and maintain cables. There are also governments which regulate where cables can and cannot drop their anchors. On the vendors’ side, our perspective is that we assume things will happen. Anchors will be dragged away, there will be sub-sea earthquakes and hurricanes, so we build mesh-protected intelligent networks where it is possible to automatically reroute around cable faults. But these things do occur and up to three quarters of them are man-made, such as fishing and anchoring, but they will maybe cut one or two cables at a time so that’s not too bad, but when there is an undersea earthquake, tsunami or a hurricane, upwards of ten or more cables can be cut at the same time. Typically, a network operator would have capacity multiple cables to develop an intelligent mesh network. Most of the submarine services sold today are unprotected, but if you buy unprotected links over a geographically dispersed cables, you can put intelligence on the endpoint and build your own mesh protection.



Microsoft and even Amazon is related to video, social media, consumer and business applications. Those all reside in datacentres. So how do consumers get access to that content and those applications? Increasingly, it’s through smartphones. 5G is supposed to give anywhere from 10 to 100 times faster speeds than we have today with 4G, and that traffic is coming out of a datacentre. So, if you’re going to download more traffic, faster, and we’re talking from 4K to 8K video in a few years, the access to content which is user-to-datacentre will increase and the datacentre-to- datacentre will increase because they typically share the content being accessed between the datacentres themselves. The belief in the industry is that it will have an effect and we’re essentially talking more capacity, but the exact effect is hard to quantify right now.

is sitting on a tower or on the side of a building. Once it hits that radio, it’s fibre all the way back to the datacentre which is where you’re actually getting the data that’s being hosted. So, if we’re going to increase the access speed per user and add ten or a hundred times more users, the amount that’s going to be pulled from the edge is going to be enormous, and the only way to cost-effectively cope with those bandwidth demands is fibre. If you look at some of the larger carriers, and Verizon is a good example, they went out and bought a billion dollars worth of Corning fibre and a lot of that has to do with their fibre plant expansion for 4G, 5G, mobile services and all the other stuff that they’re doing. Fibre optics is a very big play.

Which geographic areas are showing the most demand for sub-sea optical technologies? Ciena leads in terms of submarine upgrades. We make the equipment that hangs off the ends of the cable, which is where



the upgrades happen. We have several wins across the Atlantic, the Pacific, the intra-Pacific, all the way down to the Caribbean and Latin America, so we participate in all regions of the world. In APAC, it’s related to the population growth and the economies, but also the content providers I mentioned earlier. They’re starting to build massive datacentres in APAC and those have to



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