ADTRAN adds OTN, mini-ROADM to Optical Networking Edge family

Looking to further assert itself within the packet-optical transport space, ADTRAN, Inc., (NASDAQ:ADTN) has added a miniature reconfigurable optical add/drop multiplexer (mini-ROADM), a multi-service ITU-T G.709 Optical Transport Network (OTN) Switchponder, and the use of tunable pluggable optics to its Optical Network Edge (ONE) capabilities.

Looking to further assert itself within the packet-optical transport space, ADTRAN, Inc., (NASDAQ:ADTN) has added a miniature reconfigurable optical add/drop multiplexer (mini-ROADM), a multi-service ITU-T G.709 Optical Transport Network (OTN) Switchponder, and the use of tunable pluggable optics to its Optical Network Edge (ONE) capabilities. The ONE family comprises a set of line cards that add packet-optical transport capabilities to ADTRAN’s flagship Total Access 5000 platform.

The new features form the latest steps in ADTRAN’s march towards a packet-optical transport platform “right-sized” for edge network applications, Mano Nachum, packet-optical networking product line manager within ADTRAN's Carrier Networks Division, told attendees last week at a media and analyst event held at the company’s headquarters in Huntsville, AL. For example, both the mini-ROADM and OTN Switchponder are single-card offerings. The mini-ROADM comprises a wavelength-selective switch (WSS), EDFA amplifiers, optical monitoring, and auto power balancing elements. While a carrier would require two such cards to support 2 degree capabilities (which is the limit of ADTRAN’s initial capabilities; 4-degree technology is on its way), that’s still fewer cards than most other platforms would require, Nachum asserted.

Meanwhile, the OTN Switchponder integrates an OTN switch with a DWDM transponder on a single card. The remotely configurable card will deliver OTN mapping, switching, aggregation, and transport capabilities in an “any-service to any-port” fashion, Nachum said.

As part of the new features, ADTRAN also has increased the service capacity of the ONE-enabled Total Access 5000. Access, aggregation, and transport service capacity now tops out at 44 channels of 10 Gbps, although the system is architected to be scalable to 88 channels of 10 Gbps. Nachum said that while he could envision requirements for support of data rates greater than 10 Gbps at some point in the future, 40 and 100 Gbps probably aren’t necessary for the majority of prospective customers in the edge network niche where the ONE capabilities will play.

That certainly appeared to be the case with Consolidated Companies Inc., an independent telco in Nebraska whose CTO, Jason Axthelm, attended the event last week and commented on the appeal of the new capabilities, particularly the mini-ROADM. While ROADMs are often thought of as platforms that make it easy to reconfigure network paths, Axthelm says that he appreciated the reduction they provide in network engineering and provisioning requirements.

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