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IM Company OLC Reports A New Ultra-Fast Dynamic Connectivity Platform That Leads to More Cost-effective, Agile and Flexible 5G Networks

December 1, 2020

 

 

A member of Innovation Martlesham since August 2020

 

 

5G is promising to revolutionize the way we produce and live. However, the different 5G wireless technology families only cover the first few hundred meters in reach before optical fibre technologies take over. The undisputed success of optical fibre transportation currently has at its cornerstone the concept of “overprovisioning”. In a nutshell, overprovisioning means that an Operator has to scale the dedicated transportation resources (fibres, wavelengths, transceivers etc) to gratify the peak traffic/bandwidth demand regardless of their degree of utilisation. This paradigm has worked well so far, but costs are getting prohibitively high at a time when the demand for more bandwidth and higher degree of connectivity is soaring and with increased churn between operators.

The key question is: can it be an alternative to overprovisioning? So far all research efforts failed to present a mature and standardised data-plane technology to address this challenge. Together with BT’s optical research R&D team, led by Andrew Lord, and in collaboration with Nokia Bell Lads, we are making persistent efforts to provide a viable alternative to this overprovisioning model. Now, we have a first success as at ECOC 2020 (December 6th-10th) we are presenting our work titled “An End-to-End Real-Time Connectivity Testbed Exploiting Standardized Dynamic Data-Plane PON Technologies” by E. Kosmatos, C. Matrakidis, D. Uzunidis, P. Kostopoulos, A. Stavdas, A.  Lord. In this presentation we will report an end-to-end connectivity platform that is spanning the Metro and Access networking segments where reconfiguration is made in real-time employing no dedicated connection technology.It is important that this work is presented at ECOC (European Conference on Optical Communications) as it is the largest European Conference and the second largest in the world (considering the number of participants) for fixed-line connectivity.

‘Real-time’ in our case means that service provisioning/restoration is achieved in a time-window of few seconds (< 10 seconds). More importantly, this platform exploits the standardised data-plane of commercial Passive Optical Network (PON) systems empowered by our own  SDN–enabled control-plane (Software Defined Networking) while it is employing a network architecture that has been jointly studied with BT. This Proof of Concept gives us the confidence that an Operator may explore such a platform to reap the fruits of statistical multiplexing gain so the need for dedicated –overprovisioned- resources are significantly curbed. In this way, and by means of a PON’s data-plane where the traffic demand is gratified in milliseconds with no losses, the fibre itself becomes the multiplexing medium leading to cost-effective transportation platforms.

To confirm the importance of this approach, BT is planning a demo of this platform in the optical laboratories.



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