The Optical Networking and Communication
Conference & Exhibition

San Diego Convention Center,
San Diego, California, USA

What ROADM/OXC Technologies Will Cost‐effectively Enable Dynamic and Reconfigurable Optical Networks in 5G Era?


Gangxiang Shen, Soochow University, China; Andrew Lord, BT Exact, UK; Francesca Parmigiani, Microsoft Research Ltd., UK


As traffic volumes carried by optical networks are growing by tens of percent per year, we are rapidly approaching the Shannon limit in the conventional telecommunication band within a single-mode fiber. Several solutions have been proposed to continuously increase the capacity of an optical network, such as spectral extension to other bands (e.g., S, L, and U bands), elastic bandwidth optical networking, multi-core fiber transmission, and increasing the number of fibers connected between optical nodes. In order to be compatible with these new optical networking technologies, reconfigurable optical add/drop multiplexing (ROADM) nodes should evolve accordingly. Various features are required to be considered, such as high nodal degree, flexible switching capability, low power consumption, and easy operation in a backbone network, and low nodal degree, simple architecture, and low cost in a metro/access network. On the other hand, while ROADMs based on different technologies have the potential to provide flexible provisioning and reconfiguration in future optical transport networks, their main use is for quasi-static configurations in today’s networks.

This workshop aims at providing a platform for speakers and the audience to discuss the challenges and solutions of ROADM/OXC enabling technologies for the next generation dynamic and reconfigurable optical networks in the 5G era. The topics will focus on several aspects: first, we will discuss how to build cost-effective ROADM architectures based on different node or application scenarios. Second, we will overview recent progress in the module technology (e.g., wavelength selective switches) and will discuss the option that is the most suitable for each ROADM architecture. Third, we will discuss the technologies related to ROADM-based network operation, such as truly dynamic reconfiguration, node protection, spectrum routing, and spectrum defragmentation, etc.

This workshop will specifically discuss the following aspects:

  1. Do we really need contentionless for a ROADM?
  2. Would an MxN WSS eventually replace the Multicast Switching (MCS) module for contentionless and when?
  3. How high nodal degree would be for the future high-degree ROADM? What is the size of the M*N WSS required for the future high-degree ROADM?
  4. What is the most promising architecture for a mini-ROADM in the 5G access? Should it be with filter or filterless? At which level should a mini-ROADM permeate an xHaul and a metro network?
  5. How will future ROADMs interface with SDM line systems?
  6. Will ROADMs ever become truly dynamic and reconfigurable in optical networks? Is dynamicity useful?
  7. Will ROADMs ever have a part to play in data-center interconnect (DCI) networks?
  8. What will be the optimal technological solutions for transponders in order to fully take advantage of the capability of ROADMs?
  9. How open should a ROADM be?

This workshop is expected to attract a strong industry audience as currently ROADM deployment is increasing rapidly in optical networks around the world. Which ROADM architecture is the best is still under debate as we are seeing different carriers adopting different architectures. This workshop will also attract much interest from academia as the workshop will cover recent hot topics such as OPEN ROADM and ROADMs supporting SDM technology.

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