Infonetics: Carrier demand growing for IPoDWDM and OTN on routers

AUGUST 5, 2010 -- Despite the OTN-focused IP/optical convergence strategies optical systems vendors have unveiled in the past year, IP over DWDM remains of interest to communications carriers. So says the results of a survey market research firm Infonetics Research recently conducted.

AUGUST 5, 2010 -- Despite the OTN-focused IP/optical convergence strategies optical systems vendors have unveiled in the past year, IP over DWDM remains of interest to communications carriers. So says the results of a survey market research firm Infonetics Research recently conducted.

The survey results are included in the new report "OTN, IPoDWDM, and GMPLS on Routers: Global Service Provider Survey." The report, part of a series of analyst notes and surveys about the carrier routing and switching markets, investigates the level of service provider demand for IP over DWDM, Optical Transport Network (OTN), Generalized Multiprotocol Label Switching (GMPLS), and MPLS Transport Profile (MPLS-TP) functions on routers.

"Contrary to the general industry impression that there is little interest in deploying IPoDWDM on routers, a surprisingly large percentage of the service providers we surveyed recently are using or will use IPoDWDM on routers: about half in 2010, and 70% by 2012,” stated Michael Howard, principal analyst and co-founder of Infonetics Research.

“Respondent adoption of OTN on routers is similar, though slower in the short term. The main driver for IPoDWDM is cost savings by using less expensive colored optics on routers instead of expensive OEO transponders on both ends of the router-DWDM connection," he notes

Howard adds, "Industry discussions of IPoDWDM usually involve issues over who controls the transport (DWDM optical) layer, with clashes or differences between data groups and transport groups. Most newcomers to the IPoDWDM scene will deploy to save costs with no intention of putting the router in control of the DWDM layer."

Other survey highlights include:

  • Most operators plan eventually to combine the operations staffs for data and transport. Competitive operators are much farther along than incumbents in this transition.
  • GMPLS is being used in optical networks, but carriers may be holding back to see how useful a tool it would be in the data domain.
  • As the standard for MPLS-TP is still being defined, it is understandable that most of the adoption growth for MPLS-TP on routers is expected in 2013 or later.


Infonetics interviewed router purchase decision-makers online, via telephone, and in person at 20 major service providers that represent 45% of worldwide telecom capex and 38% of worldwide telecom revenue. The service providers participating in the survey represented a mix of geographies (EMEA, North America, Asia Pacific) and carrier types (55% incumbent carriers, 45% competitive operators).

Service providers responded to a broad range of questions, from their plans for optical and data staff integration to their plans for IPoDWDM, OTN, GMPLS, and MPLS-TP on routers, including timelines, network locations, drivers and barriers, and preferred functions.

Visit Infonetics Research

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