ADTRAN joins packet optical transport race with Optical Networking Edge family

DECEMBER 8, 2010 By Stephen Hardy -- ADTRAN Inc. (NASDAQ: ADTN) has added its name to the list of vendors offering packet optical transport capabilities with the launch of its Optical Networking Edge (ONE) line.

DECEMBER 8, 2010 By Stephen Hardy -- ADTRAN Inc. (NASDAQ: ADTN) has added its name to the list of vendors offering packet optical transport capabilities with the launch of its Optical Networking Edge (ONE) line. ONE comprises a series of modules and network management capabilities for ADTRAN’s flagship Total Access 5000 platform. In addition, the company’s product line manager for packet optical networking said at a recent press and analyst event at the company’s headquarters in Huntsville, AL, that standalone packet optical transport systems are in the pipeline.

As its name implies, the ONE portfolio is designed to address what Mano Nachum, ADTRAN’s aforementioned packet optical transport product line manager, described as a growing requirement for packet optical transport capabilities at the edge of the network, where access and transport requirements are beginning to blur. Nachum said that unlike other packet optical transport systems that are optimized for metro core and regional requirements, the ONE line, implemented alongside the existing capabilities within the Total Access 5000, provides edge-friendly capabilities that include:

  • cost-effectiveness at low port counts
  • low-power operation and temperature-hardened packaging
  • converged access and transport capabilities
  • shared network management and operational support systems
  • low initial cost and simple operation.

The first release of the ONE family, slated to debut this month, will include a Layer 2 Ethernet switch card, a “SONET/SDH MSPP on a card” blade, and CWDM and DWDM capabilities that will support as much as 400 Gbps on a single fiber pair, as well as a related software upgrade for the Total Access 5000. Field trials of these initial family members are slated to begin early in 2011. Future module releases scheduled for next year will see the addition of a multiservice OTN blade, a two-degree mini-ROADM card (with room to grow to four degrees) based on the company’s own design, and ancillary amplifiers, dispersion compensators, and related technology.

While providing packet optical transport capabilities to the Total Access 5000 offered ADTRAN a logical entry into the packet optical transport space, Nachum revealed last week that the company plans to offer standalone packet optical transport systems as well. Nachum said he envisioned small platforms for other edge applications as well as systems aimed for applications closer to the metro core.

The ONE line received kudos from at least one analyst. “While most vendors start converging packet and optical functionality in the core, ADTRAN is taking a unique approach by focusing on its fast-growing Total Access 5000 multi-service access platform,” said Ron Kline, principal analyst network infrastructure at industry analysis and consulting firm Ovum. “Given the Total Access 5000’s strength in the access market that extends all the way to the customer premises, the new optical and OTN features will allow providers to keep pace with exploding bandwidth without having to rip and replace their existing access equipment. The system size modularity presents a pay-as-you-grow approach that will help minimize capital investments.”

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