Monday, March 20, 2017

Infinera's Instant Network Delivers Software Defined Capacity for Optical Transport

Infinera introduced Instant Network capabilities for delivering software defined capacity (SDC) for cloud scale networks.

The new capabilities extend Infinera Instant Bandwidth, which provides software activation of service-ready optical capacity in a few hours on networks powered by its DTN-X platform and equipped with its unique photonic integrated circuits (PICs). Infinera introduced Instant Bandwidth in 2012 and more than 70 Service Providers are now using it. In 2015, Infinera introduced Time-based Instant Bandwidth in 2015, enabling software activation of bandwidth licenses for a limited duration.

Instant Network adds Bandwidth License Pools, Moveable Licenses and Automated Capacity Engineering (ACE). It also extends SDC to new Infinera platforms, which support flexible grid and sliceable 2.4 terabit super-channels powered by the Infinera Infinite Capacity Engine.


  • Bandwidth License Pools: The new Bandwidth License Pool functionality enables service providers to activate capacity at the same time as an invoice is issued for that capacity, reducing capital expenditures for idle capacity. This new capability enables capacity to be deployed in minutes, while previously, service providers would purchase a license before the capacity was software-activated, which resulted in deployment taking a few hours.
  • Moveable Licenses: New Movable Licenses enable service providers to use software to move bandwidth licenses across the network as traffic conditions change or fiber cuts occur. Previously, licenses were fixed to a specific line module or platform. Moveable licenses reduce capital expenses by reducing idle capacity provisioned specifically for network resiliency and increase agility when responding to customer demands for new services.
  • Automated Capacity Engineering (ACE): The new ACE application takes previously manual offline route and capacity planning processes and implements those algorithms in a microservices-based path computation element (PCE). ACE understands optical impairments and computes optimal Layer 0 routes between nodes across multiple paths, including automatic routing and wavelength assignment with multiple path constraints such as traffic engineering cost, distance and latency.

Infinera Instant Network capabilities are planned across the Infinera DNA software and the Xceed Software Suite. Instant Network Bandwidth License Pool and Moveable Licenses are available now. ACE is planned for 2018.

Infinera said its Instant Network  enables service providers to automate optical capacity engineering and scale optical capacity in minutes by using Infinera’s Xceed and Digital Node Administrator (DNA) software.  It also sets a foundation for cognitive networking, which includes advanced analytics, machine learning from streams of network telemetry data, autonomous operation of routine tasks, predictive analysis of network problems before they occur and proactive recommendations for network optimization to further reduce operational expense and improve service reliability.

“Infinera is committed to providing our customers with innovative solutions to help them win in the markets they serve,” said Dr. Dave Welch, Infinera co-founder and president. “Software defined capacity is a requirement to realize the benefits envisioned by SDN and network functions virtualization. Infinera Instant Network extends our success with Instant Bandwidth, leading the market for software defined capacity while lighting the way to cognitive networking.”

Fujitsu Enhances and Expands 1FINITY Family for DCI

Fujitsu Network Communications announced enhancements to its 1FINITY T100, including a hyper-dense transponder packaged together with the new 1FINITY T400, a 1 Tbps layer 1 aggregator. By

The company said that by decoupling the transponder and the aggregator, both of which are based on open software and open optics, it can offer customers greater architectural flexibility and industry-leading 10GbE to 100G aggregation density for data center interconnect applications. When the T400 and T100 are deployed together, the unique design of the “decoupled” aggregator and transponder provides ten times better 10GbE to 100G aggregation density than existing solutions.

Some highlights:

  • The 1FINITY T100 Transport blade, which is designed for 100G and 200G coherent optical transport between data centers in point-to-point or ring topologies, can be deployed independently, in conjunction with other 1FINITY blades such as the L100 Lambda series to provide ROADM capability, or over a third-party FOADM. Numerous feature enhancements have been added to the T100 platform. Zero touch provisioning automates configuration and provisioning, significantly speeding installation and reducing operating expenditures. Streaming telemetry technology provides an improved view of network performance without taxing software management resources to such an extent that other management functions are adversely impacted. Ethernet Link Layer Discovery Protocol (LLDP) snooping helps identify network topology with automated network discovery, enabling better planning and monitoring. And for enhanced optical security, the T100 has line-side OTN layer 1 encryption using Advance Encryption Standard (AES-256) for each 100Gb client.
  • The new 1FINITY T400 Transport blade provides a hyper-dense architecture that is purpose-built for layer 1, 10GbE to 100G aggregation. The platform’s open optics are comprised of 10 x QSFP28 100G-BaseR service ports and 25 x QSFP+ 40 GbE client ports. A 4:1 optical fan-out cable is used to deliver up to 100 x 10GbE client ports. Like the T100, the T400 has zero touch provisioning and AC or DC power supplies. The T400 reduces energy costs with a low power consumption of 0.45W per GbE.

“Our data center interconnect solutions are designed to meet the needs of the country’s largest service providers and data center operators,” said Chris Podraza, head of the optical business unit, Fujitsu Network Communications, Inc. “1FINITY solutions offer unmatched openness, flexibility, density and security. Implementing 1FINITY products, like the latest generation of the T100 and the T400, allow customers to grow their business and to be well-positioned to meet future network needs.”

GTT Launches Global Optical Transport Services

GTT Communications, a global cloud networking provider that in January completed the acquisition of Hibernia Networks, announced the launch of Optical Transport services, designed to provide customers with scalable bandwidth and low latency connectivity for the transport of data and cloud-based applications between financial markets, data centres, media hubs and service provider networks.

The new services leverage the company's extensive subsea and terrestrial optical network, which is optimised for latency performance. The network is based on a DWDM platform and includes three owned and operated, diverse trans-Atlantic cables, as well as over 75 points of presence across North America and Europe. GTT's optical transport service features wavelengths and low latency solutions, offered at 10 and 100 Gbit/s speeds.

The company noted that the new low latency service provides high speed connectivity between major financial, media and commercial centres, delivered over GTT Express, the lowest latency trans-Atlantic cable that provides latency of less than 59 milliseconds between New York and London. The low latency service also provides card and route diversity.

Hibernia Networks and GTT announced the completion of the transaction under which GTT acquired Hibernia on January 9th. The companies originally announced the transaction in early November 2016, through which GTT was to purchase Hibernia for $590 million, including $515 million in cash and approximately 3.3 million shares of GTT common stock valued at around $75 million.

Ranovus Launches 200 Gbit/s CFP2 Direct Detect Transceiver

Ranovus, a provider of multi-terabit interconnect solutions for data centre and communications networks, announced the availability of a 200 Gbit/s CFP2 optical transceiver for data centre interconnect (DCI) applications.

The new CFP2 solution is designed to enable robust and cost-effective end-to-end scalable bandwidth connectivity for the DWDM metro network and cloud infrastructure markets where reach of 80 km and beyond is required.

The optical transceiver is based on Ranovus' technology including multi-wavelength quantum dot laser (QDL), ring resonator-based silicon photonic (SiP) modulators, driver ICs and receiver building blocks. The device also incorporates an advanced 56 Gbit/s PAM4 PHY solution with PAM4 codec and FEC capability to support a range of network applications. The 200 Gbit/s CFP2 optical transceiver is form factor-compatible with CFP2 DCO to allow the same shelf density for data centre interconnect systems.

Additional key features of the new CFP2 product include:

1. Support for DCI and metro access distances for 15, 40 and 80 km+ applications.

2. Supports 96 x DWDM channels in the C-band, plus L-band to be added in the future.

3. Provides 1.6 Tbit/s 1 RU shelf density.

4. 56 Gbit/s PAM4 PHY with multiple programmable FEC options to allow optimised link power and performance.

5. Diagnostics and self-monitoring capabilities.

Source Photonics Demos 400GBASE-FR8 OSFP module, 53 Gbaud PAM4 ROSA

Source Photonics, a provider of optical transceivers for data centre and broadband access connectivity, announced at OFC 2017 it will demonstrate for the first time its fully integrated 400GBASE-FR8 OSFP module, which it claims offers the first duplex single mode fibre module with a form factor capable of supporting a 12.8 Tbit/s 1 RU switch.

The company's 400 Gbit/s OSFP module is claimed to enable a 4x improvement in faceplate density over current 3.2 Tbit/s switches supported by 100 Gbit/s QSFP28 LR4, CWDM4 and PSM4 modules. The module integrates 8 transmit and receive channels, each operating at 50 Gbit/s using 25 Gbaud PAM4 modulation on both the electrical and the optical interfaces.

This demonstration will consist of an OSFP chassis with integrated 8-wavelength TOSA and ROSA components operating in electrical loop back through the OSFP connector with a display of the eight transmit wavelengths on an optical spectrum analyser. The prototype is based on a compact TOSA housing all eight EML lasers and wavelength multiplexing optics, as well as development of a compact ROSA package housing eight PD chips, TIAs and wavelength de-multiplexing optics.

Source Photonics also announced that at OFC, in cooperation with Semtech, a supplier of analogue and mixed-signal semiconductors, it is demonstrating a 53 GBaud PAM4 compact ROSA capable of supporting a single lambda 100 Gbit/s QSFP28.

The demonstration comprises an optical loop back from a Source Photonics' compact 53 GBaud TOSA using a production-grade EML laser and 53 GBaud ROSA based on Semtech's GN1089 TIA. The combined TOSA and ROSA link can support a loss budget of 5dB and achieve better than 1 x 10-5 BER over the tested link.

The 5G Imperative

5G was front and centre at this year's Mobile World Congress, which concluded on March 2nd. Last year, 5G was already on the tip of everyone's tongue, while this year 5G banners were all over Barcelona, from the arrival lounge at the airport to nearly every vendor stand. There is considerable industry pressure to move as quickly as possible to bring 5G to market and MWC 17 kicked off with a call by major mobile network operators and vendors to accelerate the 5G New Radio (NR) standardisation schedule to enable large-scale trials and deployments as early as 2019, a year earlier than the previous expected timeline.

The first 3GPP 5G NR specification will be part of Release 15, the global 5G standard that will make use of both sub-6 GHz and mmWave spectrum bands. An accelerated rollout for 5G could provide a strategic market advantage to certain carriers who gain a first-to-market advantage with new applications such as autonomous vehicles and fixed wireless access for residential services. Early deployments would also be welcomed by major vendors, many of which are under increasing financial pressure as new LTE installations dry up.

However, there is also a growing back pressure from some quarters, notably European operators and some regulators, not to rush things for the sake of boastfulness at the expense of technology maturity or market reality. In particular, the CTO of Telefonica was quoted in the industry press as saying that a premature lockdown of 5G specifications might prevent the technology from developing to its full potential.

Mobile operators racing to be first

In the highly competitive U.S. market, key players in 5G include Verizon, and perhaps to a slightly lesser extent AT&T. For Verizon, it is essential that it retains a network advantage over Sprint and T-Mobile. Sprint's current advertising campaign proclaiming that its network quality is within 1% of Verizon's is painful enough to the market leader, and falling behind with 5G would be disastrous. Ahead of MWC 17, Verizon announced plans to rollout 5G pre-commercial services to select customers in 11 markets by mid-2017 to create the 'largest 5G proving ground in the world'. The rollout will include several hundred cell sites that cover several thousand customer locations, with pilot markets including Ann Arbor, Atlanta, Bernardsville (New Jersey), Brockton (Massachusetts), Dallas, Denver, Houston, Miami, Sacramento, Seattle and Washington DC. Verizon's 5GTF ecosystem partners include Ericsson, Intel, Qualcomm Technologies and Samsung.

For AT&T, the first 5G business customer trial is already underway in Austin, Texas. The pilot, being conducted in partnership with Intel and Ericsson, uses millimetre wave (mmWave) technology, which can deliver multi-gigabit speeds using unlicensed spectrum. The carrier has previously reported 5G lab trials delivering speeds of up to 14 Gbit/s with less than 3 milliseconds of latency. In the first half of 2017, AT&T plans to conduct a trial in Austin, where residential customers can stream DIRECTV NOW video service over a fixed wireless 5G connection. The trial will include next-generation entertainment services over fixed 5G connections and is designed to evaluate how fixed wireless mmWave technology handles heavy video traffic.

Meanwhile in Australia, for Telstra being first to market with leading technology has also become a hallmark of the company, and Telstra was among the major carriers calling to accelerate the 5G NR standardisation schedule. Telstra has launched commercial gigabit LTE service is select capital cities across Australia enabled by LTE Advanced features including 4 x 4 MIMO, 3 CA (Carrier Aggregation) and higher order modulation (256QAM). Ericsson is a key technology provider for the rollout, with Qualcomm also a key partner.

For Korean carriers, including SK Telecom and KT, both of whom were early movers with LTE, one could say there is a national imperative to lead in 5G. The next winter Olympic Games, scheduled for February 2018, in PyeongChang, Korea, are supposed to showcase commercial 5G service. KT has previously announced plans for commercial 5G in 2019, a year earlier than others, and is also a 5G development partner with Verizon, along with vendors Ericsson and ZTE. SK Telecom likewise has announced plans for 5G NR field trials in the second half of 2017 with the goal of showcasing the technology at the Winter Games. These upcoming trials will employ 3GPP 5G NR MIMO antenna technology with adaptive beamforming and beam tracking techniques, including non-line-of-sight (NLOS) environments and device mobility. Vendor partners again include Qualcomm and Ericsson.

In Japan, NTT DOCOMO has previously stated its intention to roll out commercial 5G services across Japan ahead of the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. At MWC 17, NTT DOCOMO announced interoperability testing and over-the-air field trials in Japan based on the 5G NR specifications being developed by 3GPP. The trials will operate in mid-band spectrum at 4.5 GHz, as well as mmWave spectrum at 28 GHz, showcasing the unified 5G NR design across diverse spectrum bands. The trials will utilise device prototype and base station solutions from Qualcomm Technologies and Ericsson, respectively, along with trial environments from NTT DOCOMO to simulate real-world scenarios across a broad set of use cases and deployment scenarios.

DOCOMO said It is looking forward to timely commercial network launches based on 3GPP Release 15 standard-compliant 5G NR infrastructure and devices. The trial will showcase advanced 3GPP 5G NR technologies including MIMO antenna technology, beamforming techniques, adaptive self-contained TDD, scalable OFDM-based waveforms to support wider bandwidths, advanced coding and modulation schemes and a new flexible, low-latency slot structure based design. In addition, the trial will feature 5G NR operation in mmWave spectrum at 28 GHz, employing advanced 5G NR antenna technology to deliver robust and sustained mobile broadband communications including in non-line-of-sight (NLOS) environments and device mobility.

Vendors race to be first

Among vendors, there are also bragging rights and strategic imperatives at play, For Ericsson, 5G is the really the big bet that is keeping the company alive. The Ericsson stand at MWC was mostly a showcase for its 5G ambitions, and for Ericsson this future cannot come fast enough. The company's recent financial performance and on-going restructuring are no secret, with Q4 2016 revenue down 11% compared to a year earlier and the company reporting a climate of weak investments in mobile broadband in most regions of the world with many legacy 4G projects having wrapped up. At MWC 17, Ericsson showcased a 5G platform comprising the 5G core, radio and transport portfolios, together with digital support systems, transformation services and security, all clearly aimed at mobile operators seeking to be first movers in their markets.

For Nokia, the 5G imperative story is pretty much the same, although the company benefits from a more diverse product portfolio that includes IP and optical platforms that will sustain the company in the event that a 5G rollout is delayed or more gradual than expected. At MWC 17, Nokia also said it intends to give operators a first-to-market advantage based on early specifications. The company announced its 5G FIRST end-to-end solution incorporating its AirScale and AirFrame technology, including AirScale massive MIMO Adaptive Antenna, Cloud Packet Core and mobile transport. The solution is expected to launch in the second half of 2017.

For Huawei and ZTE, 5G is the opportunity to pull ahead of their western counterparts by being first to market. At MWC, ZTE demonstrated a range of 5G mmWave and sub-6 GHz pre-commercial base stations supporting 3GPP's 5G NR new air interfaces and mainstream 5G frequency bands. The base stations use massive MIMO, beam tracking, beamforming and other key 5G technologies to achieve a 50 Gbit/s peak rate. ZTE completed its first 5G mmWave field trials last year. ZTE also showed off an upcoming 5G-capable Gigabit Phone powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chipset and which combines wireless carrier aggregation with 4 x 4 MIMO antenna technology and 256QAM modulation. Some may say this device is really pre-5G because it uses technology that is becoming available for 4G LTE, yet the announcement indicates that ZTE believes 5G handsets will be crucial for rapid upgrades to 5G infrastructure.

The issue of 5G handsets and other devices leads to Qualcomm, for whom it would simply be unacceptable to lose its lead. Anyone walking in to Barcelona's Fira convention centre saw dozens of banners proclaiming 'Snapdragon Gigabit LTE - first place in the race'. A rapid adoption of 5G NR would certainly be welcome by the California-based silicon vendor. In October 2016 Qualcomm made the first commercial 5G modem chipset announcement with its Snapdragon X50 5G modem, clearly aimed at operators and OEMs conducting lab tests, field trials and early deployments. The Snapdragon X50 5G modem initially supports operation in mmWave spectrum in the 28 GHz band and employs MIMO antenna technology with adaptive beamforming and beam tracking techniques for NLOS environments. It also offers 800 MHz bandwidth support for peak download speeds of up to 5 Gbit/s.

At MWC 17, Qualcomm announced support for the 5G NR accelerated plan and is expanding its Snapdragon X50 5G modem family to include 5G NR multi-mode chipset solutions compliant with the 3GPP-based 5G NR global system supporting operation in the sub-6 GHz and multi-band mmWave spectrum. This includes support of both Non-Standalone (NSA) operation (where control signalling is sent over LTE), and Standalone (SA) operation (where all control signalling and user data are sent over 5G NR), and are designed to enable the next generation of premium-tier mobile cellular devices while also aiding operators to execute early 5G trials and deployments. The first commercial products integrating 5G NR modems from the Snapdragon X50 family are expected to be available to support the first large-scale 5G NR trials and commercial network launches starting in 2019.

Big questions remain

The question remains, is there a business case for an accelerated adoption of 5G? The upgrade to 4G brought with it concurrent improvements to the overall network infrastructure; 5G is being preceded with network advancements, including network virtualisation technologies, open systems, and even continued improvements of the underlying metro optical transport network. In addition, 4.5G technologies such as carrier aggregation and MIMO are already adding significant capacity to mobile networks. The chief financial officers of the mobile network operators will look at this and ask whether there are in fact end customers willing to pay to be the first aboard fully 5G commercial services.

Perhaps there are certain customers, like the operators of fully-autonomous vehicle fleets, that are eager to sign up for the first available 5G service, but for now it looks as though certain vendors and operators are pressing full-steam ahead because they have no other choice than to be first with 5G.

OE Solutions Intros Smart SFPs for TDM over Packet

South Korea's OE Solutions and AimValley of the Netherlands have announced the introduction of the final products within their portfolio of Network Migration Smart SFPs, which enable customers to deliver TDM services over packet network via a plug-and-play portfolio that offers support for TDM services from 1.5 Mbit/s up to 2.5 Gbit/s.

The family of network migration Smart SFP modules is designed to facilitate the transition from legacy TDM to all-packet networks by converting PDH or SONET/SDH signals to a packet stream.

The Smart SFP products are designed to provide operators with a cost-effective alternative to upgrading systems using dedicated TDM-over-packet cards or installing new equipment. The Smart SFP modules can be added to any router or packet switch where a TDM service is required.

OE Solutions stated that adding legacy PDH or SDH/SONET services to a packet network can be achieved via first provisioning an EPL service into the packet network and then inserting a Smart SFP at each endpoint of the EPL service. This provides a reliable point to point connection for the delivery of services such as E1 to a legacy base station.

For more complex application, such as PDH to SONET aggregation, Smart SFPs are inserted at locations where an PDH or SONET service is required, and using EPL or EVPL the connections in the network can be set up to aggregate legacy services, for example T1 service aggregation into an OC-3 service. The companies noted that Smart SFPs support industrial temperature range operation and offer a range of optical and electrical interfaces for different applications.

Last week, OE Solutions announced the release of extended reach 10 Gbit/s CWDM SFP+ transceivers and high-density transceivers, including 2 x 10 Gbit/s compact SFP+, 4 x 10 Gbit/s QSFP+ and 25 Gbit/s SFP28, for wireless fronthaul applications.

The CWDM SFP+ transceivers support 1 and 10 Gigabit Ethernet, as well as CPRI-2 to CPRI-8 for wireless network applications, and utilise cooled DFB laser diodes combined with wide dynamic range APD detectors to enable reach up to 20 km for wavelengths up to 1611 nm.

The new industrial temperature grade, high density transceivers are designed to enable high port densities in radio access network equipment to support the roll-out of next generation wireless infrastructures. Products include a 2 x 10 Gbit/s multi-rate bidirectional compact-SFP+ solution for distances up to 20 km, a 4 x 10 Gbit/s multi-rate QSFP+ device offering reach up to 300 metres, and a 25 Gbit/s SFP28 solution with multiple rate and protocol options for distances up to 10 km.