Orange and partners reveal results for interoperability trial for optical transport networks

29 June 2018 | James Pearce


An incubation project launched by Orange has developed open source code aimed at speeding up the adoption of interoperable optical transport networks.

Orange initiated TransportPCE in 2016 with the aim of developing an optical controller of open optical transport infrastructures, as adoption of software-defined networking grows. Partners include the likes of AT&T, Fujitsu, and Ciena.

The project identified two key challenges: the exponential growth of traffic, driven by the likes of 5G and the internet of things; and evolution towards network openness from traditional siloed networks.

Most of management plane protocols and models are still proprietary, Orange said, leading to challenges with complexity as networks look to be more interoperable and more automated.

These challenges have led to the development of serval iniatives such as OpenROADM, OpenConfig, etc led by operators looking at vendor neutral models, along with the development of SDN.

TransportPCE was launched to focus on the network controller for open, optical transport infrastructure. Several interoperability use cases were tested, mixing transponders and ROADM from Ciena and Fujitsu in any possible configuration. Interoperability was achieved between Ekinops transponders implementing proprietary high Soft Decision FEC and Ciena/Fujitsu OpenROADM infrastructure, following an Open Line System (OLS) approach.

Orange and its partners shared the first proof of concept results at the NGON and DCI event held in Nice this week.

“Thanks to the contributions of AT&T, Orange and others to this project, TransportPCE now provides software code for reference implementation that will facilitate evolution towards openness and interoperability in optical transport networks,” said Christian Gacon, Vice President, Wireline Networks and Infrastructure at Orange.

“AT&T, together with Orange, has a shared commitment to open systems and open source, both for our network equipment as well as for our network controllers,” said John Paggi, Assistant Vice President and Member of Technical Staff at AT&T. “The work in TransportPCE has been instrumental in developing a true model-based controller using the OpenROADM MSA device, network and service models, allowing us to move to a single shared solution and drive new features faster.”