Trends Set to Define Optical Networking

Trends Set to Define Optical Networking

Lester D'Souza, Enterprise Networking Mag | Friday, February 04, 2022

Optical Networking market is completely evolving, giving fast and affordable bandwidth to customers around the world.

Fremont, CA: Technology is evolving at an incredibly fast pace, new developments are occurring at a regular cadence, and network providers are regularly evaluating different architecture approaches for evolving their networks. There is a considerate need for a next-generation optical transport system.

The Optical Transport market has continuously evolved, giving consumers around the world one of the most precious assets—fast, affordable bandwidth. With multiple available options like open line systems, compact modular, and the convergence of optical and packet, it can be overwhelming to consider one optical transport system.

Upcoming Optical networking trends:

Compact Modular system

 In recent past years, there has been a notable increase in compact modular platforms and sales. Every provider has its own variety and flavour, be it the Cisco NCS1000, Infinera Groove, or Nokia 1830 PSI. Sales have also skyrocketed to match this boom in the product development of compact modular platforms. Equipment vendors started to develop small-scale compact modular systems to address the operator's requirements, no matter their size. Operators can now choose each "building block" for a suitable situation with compact modular systems.

Open line system (OPS) and disaggregation

OLS and disaggregation help the operators to choose the finest, most relevant solutions for each portion of the network they are addressing. This enables the network operator to arrange multi-vendor hardware in the same network. Network operators no longer have to choose one specific vendor's technology. Through OPS and disaggregation, the operators now have the power to choose which solutions work best for them and can quickly shift when needed.


No bandwidth seems to have enough speed ever. 1G was the new 100 Mb, 10G was the new 1G, 100G was the new 10G, and so on. The industry is somewhat taking a brief stop at 400G. It can break down into multiple 100Gs and has the optical performance of 200G carrying double the bandwidth. That is why 400G technology makes the most practical sense, and the industry is very much focused on developing it.


Operators need a modular solution that is capable of many different types of applications over various parts of their network. In optical transport systems, an operator can deploy compact and modular single solutions while supporting a dynamic range of functions across the system, such as DWDM, ROADM, and OTDR. An operator can scale the location’s size suitably according to the number of services being deployed at any given location or across the network.

Converged optical + packed solution

Routers did not have the technology to compact large and bulky functions and combine them into a pluggable interface housed directly into the router itself with the same extended reach and FEC capabilities over a DWDM wavelength. Routers have the inherent benefit of utilizing multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) or segment routing (SR-MPLS). MPLS or SR-MPLS enables a router to switch signals through routers and create a path from source to destination. A converged optical + packet solution, at its core, would house coherent digital optics (DCO) or ZR/ZR+ 400G optics in a single router.

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