In detail: Following the Packet Optical Transport Systems (P-OTS) evolution

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Tracking P-OTSAs service providers look to transition to an all-packet based network, the Packet Optical Transport System (P-OTS) has emerged as the mechanism that can support packet transport services such as Ethernet and MPLS over optical networks.

From a vendor perspective, the field has attracted a number of traditional legacy vendors such as ADTRAN (Nasdaq: ADTN), Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU), Ciena (Nasdaq: CIEN), ECI, Fujitsu and Tellabs (Nasdaq: TLAB) and emerging companies including BTI, Cyan, and Huawei. A growing number of ILECs, CLECs, wholesalers, and international service providers are leveraging P-OTS as they transition their edge and core networks to IP.

Two of the features that service providers are looking for in a P-OTS platform, as pointed out by Infonetics, are Optical Transport Network (OTN) switching and 40/100G interfaces for the core and, increasingly, the metro network as indicated with Verizon's (NYSE: VZ) recent announcement to put 100G in their metro networks in 2013.

Verizon is coupling its 100G move in the metro by deploying Ciena's 5430 platform to build a logical, global optical network that has all of the benefits of control plane on a global basis for network restoration.

As one of the early movers in the 100G networking space, Ihab Tarazi, vice president of global IP and transport planning and technology for Verizon, believes P-OTS, much like the advent of coherent technologies, have a number of benefits.

"Putting packet into optical is a much more simplified architecture where you can have packet-based services like Ethernet go directly over optical waves," he said. "You don't have to have another layer in the middle."

Besides Verizon, Frontier Communications is leveraging BTI's P-OTS platform and its Integrated Services Delivery Platform, which includes its WideCast caching solution, to cache popular content locally for their subscriber base. It saw two main benefits from this move: reduced network backhaul costs and improving the customer's Quality of Experience (QoE).

Michael Golob, senior vice president, Engineering and Technology for Frontier, said that as the carrier begins using 10G backhaul in some of its markets, BTI's P-OTS platform "is another lever I have to manage costs in the business and also provide a good level of experience for our customers with faster response times."

The chart below lists service providers that are actively upgrading their networks with P-OTS systems.

P-OTS (Packet-Optical Transport System) Deployments
Vendor Platform Carrier Customer Carrier Type Markets
ADTRAN Total Access 5000/5006 Optical Network Edge (ONE) Consolidated Electric Co-op of Ohio  Electric Cooperative Ohio
    Consolidated Telephone of Nebraska Independent ILEC Nebraska
    Otelco Mid-Missouri Independent ILEC Missouri
    Bulloch Telephone Cooperative in Georgia Telephone Cooperative Georgia
    Ridgeville Telephone in Ohio Independent ILEC Ohio
    Farmers Mutual Telephone in Ohio Independent ILEC Ohio
 
Alcatel-Lucent  1850 TSS Nordunet International Carrier Denmark
    Telecom Serbia  International Carrier Serbia
    TIM International Carrier Brazil
    China Mobile International Carrier China
    FPL FiberNet Competitive Carrier US
    SKT International Carrier South Korea
    VTN International Carrier Vietnam
    Next Generation Network Government-backed Carrier Australia
    PALTEL International Carrier Palestine
    British Telecom International Carrier UK 
    CHT International Carrier Taiwan
 
BTI 7000 Series Epsilon Global operator APAC/EMEA
    South Slope IOC North America
    Zayo CLEC North America
    Digiweb Incumbent Provider EMEA
    Kirz Incumbent Provider APAC 
    Frontier Incumbent Provider North America
 
Ciena  6500 Packet-Optical Platform Phonoscope Competitive Provider North America
  6500 Packet-Optical Platform Mobily Middle East Wireless Operator Saudi Arabia
  6500 Packet-Optical Platform Southern Cross Cable International Submarine Cable Operator APAC, US
  6500 Packet-Optical Platform Fibrecomm International Carrier Malaysia
  6500 Packet-Optical Platform GlobalNet International Carrier Russia
  6500 Packet-Optical Platform South East Asia-Middle East-Western Europe 4 (SEA-ME-WE4) International Submarine Cable Operator SEA, Mid East, West Europe
  5340 Reconfigurable Switching System      
  6500 Packet-Optical Platform Lightower Competitive Provider North America
  6500 Packet-Optical Platform Reliance Globalcom International Carrier  
  6500 Packet-Optical Platform Tata International Carrier  North America and Europe
  6500 Packet-Optical Platform SURFnet R&E network provider The Netherlands
  6500 Packet-Optical Platform Eurotranstelecom International Carrier Ukraine
  6500 Packet-Optical Platform CapeNet Middle Mile Provider North America
  6500 Packet-Optical Platform BT International Carrier UK 
  6500 Packet-Optical Platform Korea Institute of Science and Technology Information R&E network provider Korea
  6500 Packet-Optical Platform Allstream Incumbent Provider Canada
  6500 Packet-Optical Platform RASCOM  International Carrier Russia and Germany
  6500 Packet-Optical Platform AAPT International Competitive Provider Australia 
  4200 Advanced Services Platform Bouygues Telecom Wireless Carrier France
  6500 Packet-Optical Platform, 5340   Reconfigurable Switching System Verizon Incumbent Provider North America
 
Cyan Z-Series LYNX Competitive Provider North America
    Zayo Competitive Provider North America
    GWI  Competitive Provider North America
    ViaWest  Competitive Provider North America
    DukeNet Competitive Provider North America
    Phoenix NAP  Data Center Provider North America
    Woodstock Telephone  Independent ILEC North America
    Clearwave CLEC North America
    NebraskaLink R&E Network North America
    iRis Networks  Wholesale Carrier North America
    Great Lakes Comnet   Wholesale Carrier North America
    InterCarrier Networks   Wholesale Carrier North America
    Buckeye TeleSystems  Cable Operator North America
    Great Plains Communications  Independent ILEC North America
    US Carrier   Competitive Provider North America
 
ECI XDM and BroadGate Multi-Service Transport Platform (MSTP) Synterra International Carrier Russia
  Apollo Optimized Multi-Layer Transport (OMLT) platforms Israeli Electric Corporation (IEC) Electric Utility Israel
  XDM and BroadGate Multi-Service Transport Platform (MSTP) South Central Communications (South Central) Indepdendent ILEC North America
 
Fujitsu FLASHWAVE 9500 OneCommunity Middle Mile Provider North America
  FLASHWAVE 7420 National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Government Agency North America
  FLASHWAVE 7120  Verizon Incumbent Carrier North America
  FLASHWAVE 9500, 4100 ES Telus Incumbent Carrier North America 
  FLASHWAVE 7120  FastTrack Communications  Competitive Provider North America
  FLASHWAVE 9500 SDN Communications  Regional Consortium North America
  FLASHWAVE 9500 FiberLight Competitive Provider North America
  FLASHWAVE 4500 Mountain Telephone  Independent ILEC North America
 
Huawei  OSN 8800 China Telecom International Carrier China
    KPN International  International Carrier The Netherlands
    PCCW International Carrier Hong Kong
 
Tellabs 7100 Optical Transport System  vitroconnect  International Carrier Germany
  7100 Optical Transport System  UOLDIVEO International Carrier Brazil
  7100 Optical Transport System  CELESTE Competitive Provider France
  7100 Optical Transport System  Vtesse Competitive Provider UK
  7100 Optical Transport System  Telmex Chile  International Carrier Chile