SAM BUCCI OPTICAL NETWORKING
OPTICAL NETWORKING: THE VIEW FROM NOKIA
Nokia says it is set to revolutionise fibre optic networking with its PSE-3 chip. Peter Dykes talks to Sam Bucci , the company’s head of IP Transport to find out more.
have the right type of performance and the right type of capacity for a particular application. For example, if a driverless automobile is on the road, the kind of latency required between the automobile and anything it wants to communicate with is very small. So, you would need a dierent network for that than you would for M2M. The latter has to be incredibly reliable and you can’t have any mistakes in that scenario. One other driver is the migration of IT solutions to cloud-based platforms over a wide area. I believe cloud networking is still in its infancy, although there have been great strides made. More and more of the traditional platform- based entities are putting their software out in the cloud and enterprises are slowly beginning to trust putting more of their information out there and use applications that are based in the cloud. The other thing we’ve noticed in optical is that the customer mix has changed. Years ago, CSPs really were the customer. Now, they’re still incredibly important to us, but we’ve added the internet content providers, we’ve added the carrier-neutral providers and enterprises are building private optical networks, so the mix has changed massively. Our roadmap has reflected these shifts, like the hyperscale growth demands hyperscale economics. Its not just about the features, the economics are critical. We’ve had to lower the cost per bit, not in a gradual fashion but in a step-wise fashion because if you can imagine you have to build much bigger networks that are more capital-intensive to support all these applications and with ARPU not keeping step with the need for bandwidth, then you have to lower the TCO. That means that with every generation of technology, we have to pay attention to lowering the TCO. But
OC: When did Nokia become involved in the fibre-optic market and how has the company’s product line evolved? SB: A few years ago, Nokia acquired Alcatel-Lucent which included the Alcatel-Lucent optical portfolio. Nokia, prior to the acquisition had divested its own portfolio which wasn’t that successful. Essentially though, Nokia has been in the optical networks market since its inception. We have a very long history of being in this space both on the Alcatel side, the Lucent side prior to Lucent with AT&T Network Systems, and so on. We are one of the market leaders both historically and today in optical communications. Closer to today, the transformation that’s been happening is from SDH SONET time-division multiplexing world to wave-division multiplexing. That transition is one that we’ve pioneered and have been one of the leaders in. Eectively, we’ve transitioned from 2.5Gbps and 10 Gbps direct detect- type networks to 100 Gbps and above coherent transmission networks. That has been part of our evolution and now we’re moving from not just 100 Gbps networks, but to a world of virtual infrastructure.
was originally driven by the need for bandwidth, pure and simple, and that remains the key driver. The demand for bandwidth has been growing and the service providers that we’ve talked to have been experiencing growth of close to 50% and the content providers are closer to 70% year-on-year. That means that demand is doubling every couple of years. When you think about the type of capacity that a lot of these folks are pushing through their networks, a doubling is incredible. The pervasiveness of video, which is appearing on for example Facebook and other social platforms, is often viewed on a mobile device, thereby gobbling up huge amounts of bandwidth. The growth of mobility is another driver. We’re currently charging ahead to the 5G world and 5G as a networking construct will consume multiples of the type of bandwidth that’s needed today. With IoT, once machine-to-machine communications becomes the norm, it will dwarf the delivery of 5G data and voice to your handset. On top of all that, there’s the world of augmented and virtual reality, which will gobble up even more bandwidth. So eventually, over the next five to 10 years or so, all of this stu is going to require not just bandwidth, but it’s going to require a network that is much more connected to the application. It’s not good enough to just present one big, fat pipe that connects two cities or two endpoints, you need to
OC: What were the technical and business drivers behind the roadmap?
SB: Optical networking technology
| ISSUE 13 | Q2 2018
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