Optical Connections Magazine Spring 2022


THE TELECOM TRANSFORMATION JOURNEY Open, programmable, automated, and software-driven networking

T he COVID-19 pandemic has shown how critical telecommunications networks are. Among other factors, they are ensuring business continuity and serving and supporting critical infrastructure. We also have seen increased growth in data, with more capacity overall running over networks. According to one of the latest ACG Research projects, operators around the globe are showing traffic growth between 30% and 40% year over year, driven by social media, the latest 5G technology rollouts, increased online streaming, and the digitalization and cloudification of services. Christian Uremovic , Director of Solution Marketing at Infinera, looks at how telecom has been transformed to meet these and other challenges. On top of the network, sustainability and environmental responsibility are driving network operators to constantly rethink their networks and to consider the impact of their operations by improving energy efficiency, reviewing waste reduction, and more effectively using resources. Further, network operators are continuously transforming their networks from aged, power-hungry, unscalable, proprietary network equipment and operations toward newer, lighter, open, scalable, standardized, and more economical solutions. These are not simple, one-off tasks, and on the network evolution journey, one migration often follows another, and migration cycles have accelerated in the recent past.

provide resiliency, scalability, security, and maximum throughput. These were traditionally very hardware-centric network domains that have typically been closed, proprietary, and the most static of all layers. With recent technology evolutions such as coherent technology, and with the disaggregation of Layer 1 and Layer 0, optical networks are becoming significantly more dynamic. The disaggregation of the optical transport layer is of value as it enables operators to have more choice, implement innovations faster, and improve economics. Each Layer 1 transponder technology generation, for example, typically improves total cost of ownership between 20% and 30%. Disaggregation and open networking are the latest trends, and a Heavy Reading report from 2021 showed that more than 70% of network operators surveyed were very likely or somewhat likely to deploy the latest 800G coherent technology from non-incumbent DWDM suppliers and to operate alien wavelengths with the goal to reduce cost per bit and utilize fiber more efficiently. It is now imperative that the optical transport network layer becomes digitalized and more standardized so that operators

networks, the removal of proprietary network management and operations methodologies, and the implementation of standard interfaces. This is a crucial step toward enabling easier, faster, and more productive multi-vendor and multi-layer network management. This step also marks the inflection point for improved analytics and network automation applications that can now be implemented more efficiently, as the operational methods are more unified across the entire network and across multiple solution providers. The benefits of network automation are just too powerful: • Overall efficiency improvements in day- to-day work • Acceleration of network operation tasks • Improved network and traffic visibility • More effective network resource utilization • Reduction of human errors • Acceleration of network migration through software assistance • Overall CapEx and OpEx savings Optical transport networks, the Layer 0 and Layer 1 domains of network infrastructure, are high-speed backbones that need to

It is important that the telecommunications industry continuously evolves to help

reduce cost, power consumption, space, and noise and to improve network scalability, but also, equally importantly, to help speed decision- making while also speeding up and automating network migration projects. Therefore, key optimization steps include the digitalization of

Figure 1: Importance of automation and SDN control



| ISSUE 28 | Q1 2022

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