To Transport of Not to Transport?
That isn’t really a question, is it? We can argue about the technology, the protocol, the topology, the software, but at the end of the day, we are all looking at our transport networks and making sure it’s working the way it’s supposed to, serving our needs and our customers’ demands.
Let’s start with Telecom Transport 101 – the definition. The transport network is the backbone of voice and data infrastructure, it’s what’s traditionally been behind all the computers, phones, smartphones and any other communications device we use. The transport network is the set of boxes, software and pipes connecting the different network elements that allow communications from going from A to B to Z (and any necessary stops in between).
Remember those old movies that featured telephone switchboard operators? Those (usually) ladies who sat for hours and connected callers by plugging them in? Well, that was the early version of the switching nodes of the transport network.
But that’s history. Nowadays, most countries have several miles of transport network to address their residents’ communications needs, from the access (closest to the customer), through the metro (as in metropolitan – city area) all the way to the core transport network, connecting all these in one smooth and logical operation. Hopefully.
You see, there are always complexities in any such system, as in most cities in the world, the telecom network has been built in stages, growing as the demand grew, as new services were offered, as new technology was introduced. So usually you are looking at a hodgepodge of several networks (with different technologies, generations, environments), all living together, not always happily ever after. Since it’s unlikely we will dig out all the old networks and start from scratch, what should you do to expand your network and address your customers’ demands?
A Packet-Optical Transport Network
Over the years, we have seen analog, digital, SDH/SONET, DWDM, OTN, fiber – you name it (and if it’s an acronym, even better… Telecom engineers love acronyms.) And now we are looking at packet-optical networks. Why?
Let’s take a look at ECI’s NPT, our series of Packet-Transport solutions. Remember everything that has been built before? We can’t ignore it – we need to support it still, while providing enough capacity and capability to handle what’s need to be handled right now (carrier-class communications, multiservice offerings, reliability and efficiency). By converging Carrier Ethernet, MPLS-TP, TDM and WDM OTN, the NPT offers future-proof transport for the metro access to the metro core. The NPT combines packet efficiency with transport reliability and ease of management. The NPT is best-in-class packet transport platform for Ethernet business services, wholesale Ethernet services and Ethernet mobile backhaul.
ECI’s family of next-generation Packet-Optical platforms, the Apollo, brings the superior intelligence, automation and capacity expected from optical networks, also from metro access (to cater to data center interconnection) to core. The Apollo platforms offer flexibility, efficiency, manageability and the ability to introduce new services quickly, over 100G channels and ODU cross-connect, as well as Carrier Ethernet and MPLS-TP capabilities.
Both the NPT and the Apollo families bring to today’s transport networks the peace of mind that operators are looking for, so that they can focus on the core of their business: providing their customers with the services and added value they are looking for!