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Executive Forum Part 1: Global Perspectives on the Future of Optical Communication


Monday morning's Executive Forum panel was billed as focusing on understanding perspectives from global tier 1 carriers on several key topics in communications infrastructure, and it did not disappoint. What the audience was treated to was deep insight from three subject matter experts.
The Situation in China
Yiran MaYiran Ma, an engineer at China Telecom, opened the session by talking about the current situation in that country, which is one where they are bracing for huge traffic increases in the coming years, driven mainly by video.
China Telecom has 150 million home subscribers and 45 million mobile users, he said, which is a significant chunk of the total market in China (which is more like 256 million and 68 million respectively). Many customers already have 100Mbps service, and they are starting to install 200 Mbps.
He spoke about his company's new video service, which includes traditional streaming on demand but also cloud recording—all of which will drive traffic. “I think we could double the traffic in the next two years,” he said. He also mentioned that traffic was projected to grow at 30 percent annually and how that was driving their search for solutions.
He talked about the backbone and metro networks and the possible solutions that will be implemented in China after 2020—particularly fibers that will be deployed. He compared the 652 and 654 fibers for their various merits. He also mentioned an intriguing field trial in the city of Xiamen that was geared towards testing bandwidth on demand.
The Situation in Spain
Juan Pedro Fernández-Palacios Giménez, a project manager at Telefonica, spoke at length about SDN and its future role in their networks. He first put up a slide conceptualizing a “Big Black Box Controlling the Network” and contrasting that with an architecture that uses a hodgepodge of different technologies from different manufacturers. But then after discussing the relative merits of each, a simple flick of his finger to advance the PowerPoint dropped two huge red X's over both.
The solution will likely be found somewhere in between, he said, with the SDN finding some use as an orchestrator providing instructions to the control plane in order to coordinate the different domains, different vendors and different technologies. The key, he said, will be defining the information to be exchanged.
But he stressed that SDN was not likely to be much more than that. “If we find an application, it would just be for the orchestration,” he said.
“We do not see SDN for the direct control of the optical nodes,” he concluded.
Also speaking in the session was Glenn Wellbrock, the director of optical transport planning at Verizon. His talk is detailed in a separate blog post.

Posted: 23 March 2015 by OFC | with 0 comments

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