ACG Research study: Carriers prefer mainline packet-optical transport systems

Market research and analysis firm ACG Research has conducted a network traffic study that indicates that more than 85% of network traffic will be IP-based by 2016 -- and that a majority of carrier respondents plan to handle that traffic via conventional packet-optical transport systems.

Market research and analysis firm ACG Research has conducted a network traffic study that indicates that more than 85% of network traffic will be IP-based by 2016 -- and that a majority of carrier respondents plan to handle that traffic via conventional packet-optical transport systems.

Analysts at ACG Research conducted the study to test their hypothesis that traffic mix, rather than bandwidth, will drive network architecture decisions. A total of 52 respondents completed the survey, 40% of whom were Tier 1 service providers and 45% of whom were from North America.

Using a weighted average of responses to reflect the relative sizes of the carriers represented in the survey, ACG Research concludes that private line/TDM services will decrease from 55% of traffic today to 10% to 15% in 2016. This shift to IP-centric traffic will drive demand for some sort of packet-transport platform in many carrier networks.

The majority of respondents (52.2%) reported a preference for conventional packet-optical transport platforms, which ACG Research defined as “a WDM/ROADM product with a hybrid fabric that supports OTN [Optical Transport Network] and packet switching.” Another 17.4% said they would prefer “an OTN based product that includes WDM/ROADM functionality with packet interfaces.” Combined, that means 69.6% of respondents preferred an approach centered on the optical layer, versus the remaining 30.4% who would look for “a core switch/router with WDM/ROADM functionality and an OTN interface.”

Eve Griliches, managing partner at ACG Research, told Lightwave that the more heavily weighted toward IP a carrier’s traffic is, the more likely the carrier would be to favor an architecture centered on core switch/routers or the new generation of label switched routers, such as Juniper Networks’ PTX Series Transport Switch (see “PTX Series Packet Transport Switch starts Juniper Networks down packet-optical transport path”). The report describes cable system and content network operators as examples of such carriers.

Copies of the report are available on ACG Research’s website.

For more on packet optical transport platforms and suppliers, visit the Lightwave Buyers Guide.

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