Carriers ride the converged IP optical wave

Sean Buckley, FierceTelecomThe notion of converging the optical and IP core with IP is taking hold amongst the world's largest service providers. FierceTelecom is addressing this issue in our new eBook, Converging the Optical Core to IP.

A key part of this network transformation is the Packet-Optical Transport System (P-OTS). These systems include a mix of WDM wavelength switching, Ethernet switching via various protocols, and TDM and OTN/ODU switching.

So what are service providers looking for from their P-OTS suppliers?

Those that participated in a recent Infonetics survey saw both "product reliability and total cost of ownership as the most important criteria" in selecting a P-OTS platform. While 100G is still a factor, the research firm said that "respondent mentions of 100G as an important feature when evaluating suppliers dropped sharply in this year's survey."

While the third quarter earnings season is not over, Jimmy Yu, vice president of optical transport research at Dell'Oro Group, said in the second quarter optical networking growth was predominantly led by carriers in North America and Asia Pacific.

As North American service providers increased the capacity of their metro networks to provide higher speed broadband services to both their residential and enterprise customers, the move drove up DWDM system deployments.  

A number of large and regional telcos such as CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL) and Lumos Networks (Nasdaq: LMOS) are in the process of deploying these systems into their networks to backhaul their own internal traffic and deliver higher speed network services to their wholesale and retail customers.

CenturyLink, which sees the deployment of 100G as an evolution of its network, has been upgrading its long-haul and metro networks with P-OTS gear to support its growing mix of cloud, Ethernet and IPTV services. Lumos Networks recently completed its 100G-capable metro fiber network in Richmond, Va., and has already pre-sold about $1.4 million in annualized revenue, the majority of which is strategic data services.

In Asia Pacific, the optical networking story was driven by service providers in China expanding their wireless LTE networks and installing DWDM "long haul systems for inter-provincial capacity." 

We address all of these issues in our eBook, Converging the Optical Core to IP. Please download a free copy today.--Sean