The optical networking industry faces challenges related to bandwidth, costs and how to deliver more for less in order to serve growing demand for data, multiple-device connectivity and speed. Internet-based traffic, cloud services and TV-quality video streaming drive bandwidth growth of about 50% annually -- and pundits predict that demand will swell when 5G nears the horizon.
Service providers must meet this demand. But their budgets are impacted by a slew of factors such as price-sensitive offerings from competitors and OTT providers; investments in new technologies and infrastructure and the industry's overall emphasis on enhancing customer experience.
Amongst all challenges, the most significant has been "how we can serve this demand but at a cost that allows us to deliver compelling and competitive products and services to our customers," Kevin Smith, Transmission Futures and Innovation at BT, told Broadband World News earlier this year.
To accomplish this, network operators must consider technology options that deliver not only improved speed, but also empower a fundamental shift in the underlying optical fiber transmission infrastructure's capacity efficiency, he said.
"High-speed optical transmission technologies and networks are hugely fundamental to increasing the fiber optic network capacity of our networks which underpin all network services and applications," said Smith.
Ahead of this year’s NGON & DCI Europe in Nice, Smith discussed some of the year's key advances and innovations in terabit optical technology, and shared a glimpse into his upcoming talk at NGON.
"On the line side of optical transmission, coherent optical technology has continued to develop at a dramatic pace to meet these challenges, with coherent 100G as the current de facto standard for network deployment, increasingly moving to 200G and even to 400G and beyond as the technology matures," said Smith. "On the client side, Ethernet speeds have also increased dramatically -- from 10GbE, to 40GbE and 100GbE."
In December 2017, IEEE ratified a new Ethernet standard for both 200Gb/s and 400Gb/s, further supporting continued bandwidth growth.
"The new IEEE 802.3bs standard, together with the development of a new breed of emerging pluggable optical transceivers, brings us closer to the practical realization of even higher capacity network infrastructures supporting Ethernet beyond 100GbE," Smith noted.
Building on these industry-wide achievements, it is now vital for network operators to continue driving emerging technologies forward, he said. It is key to understand their practical viability in real-world and operational environments and critical to ensure the underlying optical transmission infrastructure fits its purpose and continues to meet future bandwidth and customer demands, added Smith.
During his presentation, Smith plans to address BT’s recent experiences with and trials of advanced high-speed flexible 200G and 400G coherent optical technologies and optical super-channel transport, plus demonstrations of new 400GbE optical transmission, he said.
The industry organization's major initiatives will address broadband differentiation based on quality of experience, global test labs for services, 5G, multi-access strategies and more, say CEO Robin Mersh and CMO Geoff Burke in an interview with BBWN.
After NTIA asked for public comments on map improvements in October 2018, the FCC decommissioned the agency's broadband map in early December but did not say whether it will use any of the public's great ideas on its own (largely panned) map.
Mike Zeto, GM of AT&T's Smart Cities division, expects metro areas to adopt platforms to manage multi-departmental IoT solutions once internal processes are aligned and more agencies are involved in smart city applications.
Consumers are buying millions of IoT devices, from smart thermostats and security systems to intelligent entertainment setups and furniture. Yet many of these devices remain isolated because home users are uncomfortable connecting them to each other – or even their WiFi. After all, their WiFi network was probably designed only to handle a few laptops, a gaming system and a couple of smartphones. Now, demand on the network is surging and even though you're delivering 100 Mbps to 1 Gbps, that doesn't necessarily mean the broadband power is in the right place or reaches every corner of a home.
Even if WiFi coverage is sufficient, typing is not on trend. Voice is far more natural, easier and faster. Using a TV keyboard is archaic when more and more households have access to cloud-based voice services, like Amazon Alexa. This webinar will explore how service providers can create a comfortable, truly smart home for consumers – simultaneously driving up margin and loyalty.
Tune in to Broadband World News Radio on Thursday, November 1 at 8 a.m. PT, 11 a.m. ET, 3 p.m. UK as Ronan Kelly, CTO, EMEA & APAC Regions at ADTRAN, explores the five pillars of network integrity -- a topic he discussed during his recent Broadband World Forum keynote. Register now!