AT&T moves OpenROADM concept from testing to deployment phase

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AT&T is applying the OpenROADM concept into its live production network following testing in its own internal systems. (Image: Pixabay)

AT&T is taking the next step in applying OpenROADMs into its live network with plans to scale deployments via multiple vendors and an optical SDN controller integrated into ECOMP.

Initially, AT&T was using the OpenROADMs and SDN controller for its own internal management systems, but now they are starting to use these platforms for customer traffic on its network.

Chris Rice, SVP of AT&T Labs, Domain 2.0 architecture and design, said in a blog post that the service provider is beginning to apply OpenROADMs in its live network.

RELATED: AT&T will deploy Open ROADM platforms in optical network next year

Chris Rice

“We’re moving beyond the test and demonstration phase,” Rice said. “We’re moving into the deployment and scale phase of our SDN-controlled optical network. This new technology, along with our AI algorithms, will help ensure our customers can continue to do whatever they need to do, from streaming movies to running their businesses.”

The focus of the initial Open ROADM component deployments will be on shorter spans of AT&T’s network followed by longer distances over time as products get proven out. Following ongoing internal tests, AT&T revealed that it plans to launch its first OpenROADM deployment in Dallas.

But Dallas is just the tip of the iceberg for AT&T’s OpenROADM plans.

Rice said that “we’ll be deploying OpenROADM technology as the standard design for all metro ROADMs – and eventually all ROADMs.”

AT&T’s movement is a culmination of the work it spearheaded to create the open ROADM group, which was launched during last year’s Optical Fiber Conference (OFC). At that time, AT&T joined up with Ciena, Fujitsu, and Nokia to create a Multi-Source Agreement (MSA) for OpenROADMs.  

Open ROADM has 15 members. Besides AT&T and various vendors, other large global service providers include SK Telecom, Orange, Rostelecom, Saudi Telecom Company, Telecom Italia, and Deutsche Telekom.

Interoperability specifications and models were developed by 15 MSA members consisting of network operators and equipment developers. The group is currently working on 3rd generation features including higher rate wavelengths.