Wednesday, May 9, 2018

EU's Metro-Haul Project aims for smarter optical infrastructure supporting 5G

The Metro-Haul Project, a Horizon 2020 European Union research and innovation program, held its third plenary meeting last month at Coriant's R&D facility in Lisbon, Portugal to discuss the practical points of convergence for access and metro networks, and the establishment of suitable architecture and fundamental structure of future metro networks. Discussions also included the critical role of storage, compute, and virtual function capabilities; underpinned with flexible and elastic optical nodes in support of the demands of the 5G network.

The aim of the €7.7 million Metro-Haul project is to design and build a smart optical metro infrastructure able to support traffic originating from heterogeneous 5G access networks, addressing the anticipated capacity increase and its specific characteristics, including mobility, low latency, and low jitter. This infrastructure will also support a wide variety of services and use cases with special emphasis on services from various industries vertical to the ICT.

“The Metro-Haul project targets are ambitious but realistic for the demands of 5G,” said Emilio Riccardi from TIM, the Italian telecommunications company. “We aim to enable optical metro networks with 100 times the capacity, 10 times less energy consumption, support for latency-sensitive services, and end-to-end SDN-based management that enables fast configuration leading to a 20% reduction in OPEX. The cooperation between equipment manufacturers and network operators within Metro-Haul offers the possibility of achieving these targets and making a huge difference to the industry.”

“With active support from industry leaders and European academic institutions, Metro-Haul is making important contributions to the understanding of the demands that emerging 5G use cases will place on metro network infrastructure,” said Carlos Ferreira, Country Manager for Coriant Portugal. “We were pleased to host the third plenary session and help facilitate driving this important work forward. The implications of bandwidth growth on metro networks represent a pressing issue for our customers, and the research Metro-Haul provides is an invaluable source of architecture, technology, and use case information that will help maximize the value of 5G-optimized networks.”

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