31 July 2003 London and Backnang Lightwave -- Specially enhanced versions of Marconi Corp. plc's MSH family of optical switches have been selected by Deutsche Telekom AG to form the intelligent core of its Global Seamless Network (GSN) research and demonstration project. The GSN has been built by Deutsche Telekom to investigate possible architectures that it could use for future core optical network deployments. It is a fully operational, multi-vendor demonstrator that involves the latest core optical transmission technology.
Marconi has provided Deutsche Telekom's Innovation Management with enhanced versions of its MSH core optical switches on a free, trial basis to prove the cost-saving potential of the GSN and its ability to inter-work with Ethernet and IP solutions upon which the operator's end-user services are based.
The GSN's innovative network control schemes are crucial to its efficient operation and interworking between its core and metropolitan areas. It automates manual processes, which in conventional networks are detrimental to responsiveness and add costs. Marconi's MSH family of core optical switches, enhanced with a comprehensive set of the latest Automatic Switched Transport Networks (ASTN) protocols, sit at the heart of the GSN demonstrator, allowing Deutsche Telekom to allocate variable amounts of bandwidth dynamically in response to simulated customer demand. In practice, this would allow the operator to provide a range of services at different levels of priority, security, and bandwidth, even amongst a pool of parallel users.
Deutsche Telekom has installed four nodes incorporating Marconi's core optical switches at sites in Berlin and Darmstadt. Each node is connected to the others with an advanced WDM system, also supplied by Marconi, to form a high-capacity, meshed core network. The nodes are equipped with a distributed control plane based on the latest ASTN standards. The ASTN control plane automates multiple network functions and significantly improves network operation. Using this, Deutsche Telekom can test network functionality that could make any future backbone network more flexible and improve the value of the services it offers.
The Marconi core optical switches can, for example, automatically detect traffic volume in individual network elements. This allows an operator to automatically set up new services over the least congested routes, balancing network load and improving bandwidth use. Marconi's intelligent network switches are also capable of recognizing changes in the network topology--meaning that once a new node is added, the network's control plane can acknowledge the extra resource and adapt traffic flow accordingly.