In my last post, we explored the concept of P-OTS and, more specifically, how the technology failed to live up to operators’ expectations for next-gen transport but laid the groundwork for a more viable replacement. Now, we’ll delve deeper into a lesson learned from P-OTS: the value of integrating network layers.
To understand the need for integrating layers, we must first look at the impetus behind P-OTS. Why did operators need such a solution? Simply put, they needed to more efficiently and more cost effectively deal with the bandwidth and capacity demands of rapidly growing multimedia traffic and its associated cost pressures. The video and data services of today generate far less revenue per bit than what operators are used to with their legacy services. P-OTS aimed to solve these issues by integrating different layers of technology – WDM, SONET/SDH and Carrier Ethernet – into a single platform, as shown here:
The theory was that this integration would create a number of operational efficiencies and capex savings that would result in a reduced cost per bit and lower total cost of ownership (TCO). This, in turn, would enable operators to create the new service opportunities that are needed to profitably drive growth. But as we discussed in the last post, current P-OTS have fallen short of the mark
of addressing operators’ pain points as they grow and evolve their networks. What P-OTS did succeed at, however, was proving the value of integrating network layers.
By combining packet and optical technologies in one platform, synergies are created which form the foundation of efficient, cost-effective next-gen transport:
- A reduction in physical packaging, network elements and spares
- Simplified cabling requirements
- Lower power consumption
- Streamlined operations, network management and training
As a result of these synergies, opex and capex can be lowered, and TCO reduced. As well, the cost per bit can be reduced to the point where new services become highly profitable. And that’s something that goes a long way in alleviating operators’ pain points!
Yes, it’s true that P-OTS wasn’t quite ‘there’ yet, but it did provide some valuable lessons on multi-layered transport which are now being used to form the basis of a ‘beyond next-gen’ solution. Any next-gen platform needs to include true multi-layer integration, from Layers 0-3, so that carriers won’t need additional platforms to complement the whole solution. Next time, we’ll explore what such a solution should look like.
NG Optical Networking Product Line Manager