Infonetics: OTN switching key for packet-optical transport system operators

AUGUST 4, 2010 -- Market research firm Infonetics Research has released excerpts from “Packet-Optical Deployment Strategies: Global Service Provider Survey.” The survey revealed that Optical Transport Network (OTN) switching is a clear requirement for packet-optical transport system (P-OTS) equipment. In fact, OTN is or will be used by many more respondents than support for legacy TDM in metro and the core networks, the survey indicated.

AUGUST 4, 2010 -- Market research firm Infonetics Research has released excerpts from “Packet-Optical Deployment Strategies: Global Service Provider Survey.” The survey revealed that Optical Transport Network (OTN) switching is a clear requirement for packet-optical transport system (P-OTS) equipment. In fact, OTN is or will be used by many more respondents than support for legacy TDM in metro and the core networks, the survey indicated.

The report, part of Infonetics' Continuous Research Service (CRS) series of analyst notes and surveys about the optical market, provides insight into carrier plans and preferred features for P-OTS equipment in core and metro aggregation networks.

"Packet-optical transport systems will be the bedrock of future optical networks, and given the feature-rich nature of these systems, we conducted this survey to understand exactly which P-OTS features are most important to service providers," notes Andrew Schmitt, Infonetics Research's directing analyst for optical.

Survey highlights include:

  • Many service providers define packet-optical as the unification of the optical, circuit, and packet layers into one piece of optical hardware; this is a narrower definition than many P-OTS equipment vendors use.
  • Service providers that disagree with this definition (or those that claim no need for P-OTS at all) typically have little or no circuit traffic, and de-emphasize the importance of TDM. Cable operators, competitive broadband providers, and operators of IP transit networks are good examples of this type of provider, Infonetics says.
  • All of the service provider respondents said they plan to use 40G/100G interfaces in the core network, and some plan to use these speeds in the metro as well, making 40G/100G a key feature for P-OTS to support.


Infonetics interviewed purchase decision-makers at telecom service providers in North America, Asia Pacific, and EMEA that have deployed P-OTS or plan to do so in the future. The service providers interviewed are a mix of incumbent, wireless, and competitive operators, and represent 27% of the world's telecom carrier revenue and 28% of its capital expenditures (capex).

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