The Optical Networking and Communication
Conference & Exhibition

San Diego Convention Center,
San Diego, California, USA

Panel III: High Capacity Long Distance Optical Transport: Challenges and Business Reality

Tuesday, 05 March
14:30 - 16:00
Expo Theater I

Moderator: Jimmy Yu, Vice President, Dell'Oro Group Inc., USA

Panel Description:

Demand for optical network capacity will continue to increase for many years to come, requiring the continuous innovation and development of optical transport technologies. Therefore, companies across the world have announced new technologies to take optical technologies to higher wavelength data rates – 100 Gbps to 400 Gbps and now 600 Gbps. What comes next? And, more importantly, is there a real world use for it?

Unfortunately, the answer is no longer simple. In the past, higher-speed wavelengths meant a lower dollar-per-Gigabit-per-km ($/Gbps/km) for operators. We are no longer sure this will be the case moving past 200 Gbps, and could drive the need for new system architectures like lower-cost all-optical switches. Where is the intersection between reality and innovation?

This panel will discuss the view, current progress, and future plan for moving to higher spectral efficiencies and where the limitations exist. The discussion will come from both technology and business perspectives by major component vendors, network equipment manufacturers, and operators. Questions to be addressed in the panel include:

  • Increasing the speed of single carrier wavelengths for metro and long haul transport will continue to drive optical technology development for many more years, but have we reached a point of diminishing returns?
  • What are the technical and business hurdles to obtaining higher network capacities for spans that exceed 80 km?
  • What comes after a single carrier 600 Gbps wavelength? Is there a real world use for higher speed single carriers?
  • Are the new technologies presented in the recent high capacity, long distance transport hero experiments realistic for actual implementation in the field? Are any promising for real world application?
  • Are there new architectural concepts such as all optical switching that will finally become a reality? Will these new systems lower capital or operational costs?
  • What should be the direction for useful optical transport research and development to increase spectral efficiency and reduce the $/Gbps/Km?
  • Are pluggable transceivers still the solution for these types of systems?


Saurabh Patil, Lead Design Engineer, Optical Engineering, Cox Communications, USA
Vinay Rathore, Sr. Director Product & Solutions Marketing, Infinera, USA
Kim Roberts, Vice President, WaveLogic Science, Ciena, Canada
Rene Schmogrow, Optical Network Architect, Google, USA
Winston Way, CTO, Systems, NEOPhotonics Corp., USA


Jimmy Yu, Vice President, Dell'Oro Group Inc., USA

Jimmy Yu covers Optical Transport and Microwave Transmission market research at Dell’Oro Group, and since joining Dell’Oro Group in 2001 has become a recognized authority on the Optical Transport market.

Prior to his time at Dell’Oro Group, Jimmy worked in product development at Northrop Grumman, management consulting at Deloitte Consulting, and strategic product marketing at Spansion.

Mr. Yu received a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from the University of California at Davis and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Michigan.


Saurabh Patil, Lead Design Engineer, Optical Engineering, Cox Communications, USA

Saurabh Patil is a Lead Optical Design Engineer in the network engineering group at Cox Communications. In this role, he is primarily responsible for researching, designing, and deploying new technologies including SDN/NFV, WAN optimization, 100G, 400G and 1Tbs technologies on Cox’s Nationwide Optical Backbone. 

Prior to this role, Saurabh was a prime contributor to many successful projects launched at Infinera, Ciena, and Cisco.  He has a wide range of experience in IP and Optical domains.  Having had experience on both sides, vendor and client, allows him to actively contribute to his company’s business needs.

In addition to his extensive work experience, Saurabh holds a Bachelor in Electronics & Communications from Mumbai University, followed by a Master in Telecommunications from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, USA. 

Vinay Rathore, Sr. Director Product & Solutions Marketing, Infinera, USA

Vinay Rathore brings 29 years of experience across both telecom network operators and equipment manufacturers. His passion is to learn how to align customer needs and cutting edge technologies that result in innovative products and solutions that create win-win. His areas of expertise span product design, engineering, operations, sales & marketing in both wire-line and wireless systems as well as IP, Optical and Ethernet technologies. Vinay holds a degree in Electrical Engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute as well as an MBA from the University of Texas. 


Kim Roberts, Vice President, WaveLogic Science, Ciena, Canada

Kim Roberts has been a major force in the field of digital signal processing for optical transmission. Kim helped develop the world’s first coherent 40G, 100G, and 400Gb/s optical systems. Today Kim is vice president at Ciena, leading an R&D team focused on pushing the optical boundaries even further with the WaveLogic 5 Extreme transceiver at 600Gb/s.

Kim is a passionate evangelist of new optical technologies and is Ciena Corporation’s leading inventor. Kim holds more than 150 patents with many more pending.

Kim was named an IEEE Fellow, a Nortel Fellow, and in 2008 the Outstanding Engineer by IEEE Canada. 


Rene Schmogrow, Optical Network Architect, Google, USA

Rene Schmogrow has been a network architect at Google since 2016, helping to scale and optimize Google's production optical networks. He works on long haul, metro, and campus network design. Prior to Google, Rene was a system and hardware engineer for Infinera after a brief tenure as a post-doctoral researcher with ETH Zurich.

Rene earned the Dr.-Ing. degree (EE) and a Master of Science (Optics and Photonics) from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). He received his Dipl.-Ing (B.Sc. EE) degree from Baden-Wurttemberg Cooperative State University Karlsruhe in collaboration with Bosch’s Automotive Electronics division.

Winston Way, CTO, Systems, NEOPhotonics Corp., USA

Winston I. Way is the CTO at NeoPhotonics Corporation. He has been with NeoPhotonics since 2009. He is a Fellow of the IEEE and the Optical Society of America.


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