Preparing the Metro for 5G
Giving Metro Networks a Pre-5G Makeover
Yes, we are on the cusp of 5G and with it will bring new levels of service and support for improving overall QoE, but we have a ways to go before we see deployments at scale becoming as ubiquitous as 4G LTE is today. Although 5G is on the roadmaps of many service provider, in the interim they are facing the same issues for maximizing current infrastructure investments, plus meeting the growing demand for network capacity…today.
And today, we’re facing a rapidly evolving metro driven by trends in mobility, the move to the cloud and growing consumption of high-bandwidth services like video and gaming. Customers want more capacity and bandwidth leaving SPs struggling to keep up with demand. Future 5G networks will compound the situation due to the explosion in the number of connected devices and new types of services -- like autonomous cars and massive growth of IoT – will be added to the network, each with its own unique requirements and consumption needs.
Should you wait or should you go?
When making decisions about investing in their current networks, SPs need to balance the pros and the cons. Not investing in their current infrastructure may very well impact their customer’s quality of experience - TODAY. And their customer’s expectations are on the rise! However why invest today if they will be required to ‘rip and replace’ their network solutions for 5G? So to invest or not?
What if there wasn’t an either/or decision, but they could enjoy the best of both worlds? If SPs could increase capacity with a minimal investment, while knowing that their investments will continue to ensure ROI far into the future – this could indeed be the best solution available.
Luckily ECI has two new network interface upgrades that help SPs address these issues and more. These both meet our promise of providing flexible, scalability (with our “pay as you grow” model) as well as ensure the longevity of our solutions well into the era of 5G and beyond. By simply adding our new high capacity cards, we can help double network throughput and reduce operational complexities now and, in the future, all without drastic overhaul that other solutions require.
Entire Packet Portfolio to Get 100GE Interfaces
The first part of this recent news is bringing our 100GE interfaces to the Neptune (NPT) packet-optical product line. We started by adding the option for the NPT1800 aggregation platform and have now added this option for our (NPT) 1200. Customers can now upgrade existing Neptune system to a 100GE solution, nearly doubling the capacity to 560G (up from the 320G limits) and we will extend the 100GE capability to the smaller Neptune access systems later this year.
This ensures our Neptune (NPT) packet-optical product line will continue to provide a powerful, flexible and efficient, end-to-end metro solution for high performance Layer 1 to Layer 3 services. Customers already seeing the benefits of a convergence platform for IP, Elastic MPLS (IP, TP and Segment Routing), Ethernet (MEF CE 2.0 certified) and other services, now have added capacity to maximize the investment.
Industry’s Most Compact Pluggable Optical Interface
Like the Neptune line, our Apollo (OPT) product line will see doubling capacity with our new Apollo TR200-2. If you recall, the Apollo family of optical transport and switching platforms interwork seamlessly to provide scalable, high-density and energy-efficient solutions from access to core with up to 400G transmission and 16T of OTN switching.
The new TR200-2 takes this to a new level, offering two separate 200G transponder/muxponders in a single slot instantly doubling the capacity of any Apollo 9600 shelf. Plus, it’s about half to size of other products on the market today. Besides a reduction in physical size, the TR200-2 it also consumes a fraction of the power as other products (less than 0.2W/GHz). Additionally, our 200G solution can operate on the same 50GHz grid as 100G signals, adding another way to simply and cost effectively add network bandwidth.
The Future is Bright
The future is bright for metro networks and we see these as a signal of more things to come as we help our customers meet the demands of today, while preparing for the future.
“In preparation for ongoing – and increasingly rapid – market evolution, ECI enables customers large and small to upgrade their current Apollo and Neptune systems with more capacity and speed,” notes Moshe Shimon, ECI’s VP product management for the global portfolio, “Apollo and Neptune are future ready, and have inherent evolution paths to 5G, SDN and NFV."