Currently, 12 companies that are members of the OIF (News - Alert) are conducting global interoperability tests of Ethernet services over OTN transport. All of this testing is leading up to a demonstration at the OIF 2012 Enabling High-Speed Dynamic Services event, which is taking place from March 6-8, 2012. Vendors participating in the interoperability test include AT&T, China Telecom (News - Alert) and NTT.
As carriers globally are migrating their networks away from SONET/SDH to Ethernet and OTN, the combination of the latter will enable operators to prepare their networks for rapid growth and volume while accommodating the continued use of the classic TDM technology. Sources say the OIF is one of the most important influencers in converging the two complimentary technologies and as a group, it continues to display the ability to come together and collaborate on new technology that will only improve the wireless and communications industry as a whole.
By testing the technology with multiple carriers within the OIF, it will allow these vendors to evaluate the tools and determine how to best integrate the new equipment into existing networks. "The combination of Ethernet services and OTN transport is compelling and there is momentum in the industry to converge these technologies," said Jim Jones of Alcatel-Lucent (News - Alert) and the OIF's president and Networking Interoperability Working Group chair in a statement. Overall, the goal is to use Ethernet as the predominant access and client interconnect technology and OTN as the dominant transport technology.
New research also suggests the technology to combine the two is being developed at just the right time, as OTN is forecasted to show a strong growth in capabilities and revenue generation.
According to Infonetics (News - Alert), sales of OTN switching equipment currently comprise only about eight percent of the OTN market, with more mature OTN transport equipment representing the remaining 92 percent. But that’s expected to change substantially over the next few years, as service providers get serious about deploying OTN switching.
OTN and Ethernet are a natural combination that will allow network technology to run more efficiently. And with the OIF testing it across multiple carriers, it will allow its service providers to analyze the technology and figure out how to integrate it into their own systems effectively, which will hopefully make it cheaper to apply these new technologies easily into everyday operations once the product is finished with its testing stage. A recent graduate from the University of Oregon, Nick aspires to build a career in the digital world with a focus on technology, sports, and online media.
Edited by Jamie Epstein