From Land to Sea to Cloud
By Brian Lavallée – Submarine networks carry over 99% of all telecommunications traffic between continental landmasses making them easily classified as critical infrastructure. There’s also no “Plan B” for these submerged assets, so they’ll continue to act as the jugular veins of intercontinental connectivity for years to come and will thus require constant technology innovation to reliably and securely maintain this pivotal role.
But exactly what traffic is transported back and forth on seabeds around the world? According to respected industry analyst firm TeleGeography, it’s increasingly Data Center Interconnection (DCI) traffic, and LOTS of it.
It’s projected that Internet Content Providers (ICPs) will soon account for the majority of submarine traffic in all regions of the world. Impressive for a group of companies that just over a decade ago, were essentially non-players in the submarine networking market.
Given the astonishing amount of DCI traffic added to traditional wholesale traffic, several new technologies were introduced to address this extraordinary growth, which sits at around 40% CAGR worldwide, according to TeleGeography. more>
Posted in Broadband, Communication industry, Economy, History, Media, Net, Technology, Telecom industry
Tagged Broadband, Ciena, Fiber optics, Internet, Net evolution, submarine networks, Technology
How is change management the key to successful cable infrastructure modernization?
By Susan Friedman – The winds of change are blowing for the Cable/MSO Industry. And it’s all happening faster than anyone thought. Last month, cable industry gurus met in Denver for Light Reading’s 11th annual Cable Next Gen Technologies and Services conference, and it was clear embracing change is critical to meeting the end-user’s needs.
We’ve heard a lot about the impact of streaming services and cord cutting. But it was clear from discussions at the show that consumers are not abandoning cable, they are changing their consumption habits. They are now buying fast and reliable internet services, and lots of it. Consumers just can’t get enough of connected devices and the Smart Home is only smart when connected to the internet.
Here is a big change, the internet is now the epicenter of a cable operators network, not video delivery. According to Leichtman Research Group, cable rules U.S. broadband more than ever, with subscribers up 2.7 million in the last quarter of 2017. That’s 64.4% of the total market for internet services.
Technology change is also a disruptive cycle for the cable workforce, subscribers, or anyone trying to navigate thru a utility work zone. more>
Posted in Broadband, Business, Communication industry, Economy, Media, Net, Telecom industry
Tagged Broadband, Business improvement, Cable, Ciena, Internet, MSO, United States, Wireline
5 ways to future-proof your network today to support IoT tomorrow
By Rob Tomkins – There is no getting around the fact that networks are seeing an explosion of data coming from “smart” objects that connect the physical and digital worlds. In fact, IHS forecasts that the market will grow from 15.4 billion devices in 2015 to 75.4 billion in 2025. Despite this increase in data, and no matter what new IoT technology or application is announced, users’ expectations remain high — networks must be up and running constantly and bandwidth must always available.
Plus, now that IoT, including Industrial IoT, is becoming more intertwined with mission-critical services such as smart grids and emergency alert systems — the stakes are even higher. Even the slightest network latency or jitter goes beyond a simple inconvenience and has the potential to cause life-threatening situations.
The time is now for service providers, enterprises and cities to get their networks in shape to handle the increase in bandwidth requirements, as well as prepare for what is to come tomorrow. Unfortunately, while it’s a simple concept, it’s not such a simple task.
In many ways, the current IoT landscape resembles the Wild West. more>
Posted in Broadband, Communication industry, Economy, Net, Technology
Tagged 400G, Broadband, Ciena, Health, Internet, IoT, Net evolution, Technology
Coherent optical turns 10: Here’s how it was made
By Bo Gowan – This is the story of how a team of over 100 people in Ciena’s R&D labs pulled together an impressive collection of technology innovations that created a completely new way of transporting data over fiber…and in the processes helped change the direction of the entire optical networking industry.
Back in 2008, many in the industry had serious doubts that commercializing coherent fiber optic transport was even possible, much less the future of optical communications. That left a team of Ciena engineers to defy the naysayers and hold the torch of innovation.
“What we first began to see at Telecom 99 was that we could achieve these high speeds the brute force way, but it was really, really painful,” said Dino DiPerna in an interview. Dino, along with many in his team, were brought on by Ciena as part of the company’s 2010 acquisition of Nortel’s optical business. He now serves as Ciena’s Vice President of Packet-Optical Platforms R&D and is based in Ottawa.
By ‘brute force’ Dino is referring to the traditional time-division multiplexing (TDM) method that had been used until then to speed up optical transmission – basically turning the light on and off at increasingly faster speeds (also called the baud or symbol rate). “But once you start pushing past 10 billion times per second, you begin running into significant problems,” said DiPerna.
Those complexities had to do with the underlying boundaries of what you can do with light. The fundamental issue at hand was the natural spread and propagation of light as it travels along the fiber – created by two phenomenon called chromatic dispersion and polarization mode dispersion, or PMD. As you push past 10G speeds, the tolerance to chromatic dispersion goes down with the square of the baud. Due to PMD and noise from optical amplifiers, a 40 Gbaud stream will lose at least 75% of its reach compared to a 10 Gbaud stream.
This reach limitation had two consequences. First, it meant adding more costly regenerators to the network. Second, it meant that the underlying fiber plant required a more expensive, high-quality fiber to operate properly at 40G transmission speeds. more>
Posted in Broadband, Communication industry, Economy, History, Net, Product, Science, Technology, Telecom industry
Tagged Broadband, Business improvement, Ciena, Fiber optics, Internet, Physics, Technology
Fiber Deep: Bringing bandwidth to the edge
By Elias Cagiannos – It is no secret that on-demand audio and video streaming services are surging as consumers turn away from traditional consumption models. In 2017, 54 percent of all TV households in the country had a Netflix subscription, up from 28 percent in 2011.
These services are using massive amounts of bandwidth and often free riding on top of Multi-Service Operators’ (MSOs) networks.
As I spend time meeting with Ciena’s MSO customers, I understand that pressures don’t stop there. For example, aging and inefficient analog infrastructures are hampering bandwidth growth. In turn, this is preventing them from introducing new services as higher speeds and symmetrical services such as picture and video storage in the cloud, social media and video chatting have become more important.
Not only do these infrastructures impede service agility, but the network is becoming increasingly complex to scale. MSOs are adding more equipment to address their dynamic needs – but lack the analytics and insights to proactively make the necessary changes and are instead constantly finding themselves having to react to problems. In today’s hyper-competitive market, this can make or break a MSO’s reputation when quality of experience means everything. more>
Posted in Broadband, Business, Economy, Media, Net, Technology, Telecom industry
Tagged Broadband, Business improvement, Ciena, Fiber optics, Internet, MSO, Multi-Service Operator, Technology
What is Fiber Densification?
By Helen Xenos – The term “network densification” is being used more often in relation to wireless network deployments, and more recently, “fiber densification” has become a hot a topic of discussion. So, what exactly is densification?
Densification simply describes the goal or end state of supporting more capacity within the same area or footprint. It is borne from the need of network providers to not only keep up with the increase in bandwidth demand they are seeing, but also grow their competitive edge in delivering a better end user experience for their customers.
Cable or Multi-Service Operators (MSOs) are undergoing a multi-year upgrade of their Hybrid Fiber Coax (HFC) access infrastructure. To provide a better quality of experience to subscribers, they are delivering higher capacity to smaller groups of homes and pushing fiber closer to the edge of the network.
HFC Fiber nodes, which on average service 500 homes per node, are being replaced with 10 to 12 Digital Fiber nodes. These nodes will now service 40 to 64 homes, be pushed deeper into the access, and increase per-user capacity.
An incredible amount of digital fiber nodes are expected to be deployed in the next few years, from tens to hundreds of thousands globally in 2018 and 2019. Fiber densification, the ability to pack as much capacity as possible over the limited fiber resources available, is of critical importance to achieve business objectives.
Finally, the simplest example of fiber densification is the hyperscale data center interconnect application. Global content providers are deploying huge amounts of fiber between massive data centers to maintain their aggressive pace of innovation and keep up with the doubling of bandwidth they are seeing on a yearly basis. more>
Posted in Broadband, Economic development, Economy, Net, Product, Technology
Tagged Broadband, Business improvement, Ciena, Densification, Fiber optics, Internet
Densifying the Network, One Small Cell at a Time
By Wayne Hickey – Mobile network usage is growing at an astounding rate of 42% CAGR, as data rates rise driven by an insatiable customer appetite for video, gaming, social media, and live streaming. With the omnipresence of smartphone technology, advancement towards 5G, and mobile data as the major use cases – MNOs (Mobile Network Operators) struggle to maintain with growing customer demands.
There are three primary ways that MNOs can add capacity to their wireless network:
- Buy more spectrum
- Make spectrum utilization more efficient by optimizing spectral efficiency
- Densify the network, by adding more cell sites, while reusing available spectrum
A mobile network must be designed to physically reach the intended number of subscribers and adapt to the changing capacity needs of those subscribers. To do so, MNOs segment their networks by base station coverage by using macro cells and small cells (ex. micro cells, pico cells, nano cells, femtocells, and even WiFi cells, or hotspots).
Macro cells cover large geographic areas while the various types of small cells cover much smaller and varied geographic areas serving fewer end-users, both indoor and outdoor.
Macro cell sites use high powered radios, generally for large coverage areas. Small cells use much lower power radios, require less space, and increase data capacity by proliferation or densification of the network. Densification of the network means deploying lots of small cells to enable more overall users, lower latency, better mobile device battery life, and expanded coverage. The approach is to basically reuse spectrum over and over again, by keeping the coverage area small, and managing the interference between cells using a variety of techniques. more>
Posted in Broadband, Business, Communication industry, Economy, Net, Telecom industry, VIDEO
Tagged Broadband, Business improvement, Ciena, Internet, Macro cells, Small cells, Technology, Wireless
Why Adaptive is the biggest story in networking
By Joe Cumello – Next-gen, intelligent, flexible, automated, agile, optimized, programmable, elastic.
Our industry has been using these words for years to describe the end game for networks. With Ciena’s recent 25-year anniversary, we’ve been spending quite a bit of time looking back at the early days – and it seems like the entire industry has been using these aspirational network descriptions for as long as there have been networks.
Maybe 2018 is the year “aspirational” starts to become “actuality.”
Like no other time in our industry’s history, a collection of technologies and advancements is bringing the long-desired goal of a more automated network closer to reality.
Network operators do need greater automation to cope with the harsh realities of today’s environment. But “full automation,” or so-called “autonomous networking,” isn’t the complete answer they are seeking, because it’s now clear that today’s environment isn’t the same one they will face tomorrow. more>
Posted in Broadband, Business, Communication industry, Economic development, Economy, Education, Net, Technology, Telecom industry
Tagged Adaptive Network, Broadband, Business improvement, Ciena, Internet, Technology