Verizon unifies TDM, IP services onto common Cisco packet-optical platform

Verizon has implemented Cisco’s circuit emulation platform that can migrate existing TDM-based legacy services to a next-generation network that can lower capex costs.

While the telco has set an aggressive IP-based path for its Intelligent Edge Network, Verizon still has to accommodate its substantial TDM-based network that many of its customers still depend on for mission critical private line services.

A key facet of Verizon migration to Cisco’s circuit emulation platform is greater speed. While earlier versions of circuit emulation equipment could handle speeds up to OC-12 (622 Mbps), the new platforms can support up to OC-192 (10 Gbps).

Bill Gartner, VP and general manager of optical systems and optics group for Cisco, said in a blog post that moving TDM services onto a circuit emulation platform allows Verizon to divert network investments towards less expensive IP-based platforms.

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Bill Gartner

“Migrating TDM services off these aging devices (and not just replacing them with another TDM platform) and onto a converged packet-optical platform saves significantly on central office footprint and power,” said Gartner. “Footprint savings on the order of 90 percent and power savings of up to 70 percent have been demonstrated. This space and power savings translates directly to OPEX benefits.”

Gartner added that “having migrated TDM services to a converged packet-optical platform, it is a much simpler migration when the end customer ultimately shifts from TDM to an Ethernet service.”

During the recent months, Verizon and Cisco worked collaboratively to test and implement this solution, with plans to significantly increase the number of circuits using this technology over the next decade.

Verizon’s work with Cisco is part of the telco’s broader 100G U.S. metro network build. The service provider initially deployed this technology where it could aggregate multiple Ethernet and TDM circuits at the same location onto a unified high-speed circuit.

Being a traditional telco with a large installed base of TDM infrastructure and private line services, circuit emulation enables transport of conventional digital and optical signal rates over a packet-based MPLS network without impacting existing private customer traffic.