AT&T said it has unleashed the industry’s “first” interoperable optical equipment on its network in a move the carrier said will help it address the massive surge in data traffic.
In a Friday blog post, AT&T Labs President and Chief Technology Officer Andre Fuetsch said the carrier has successfully deployed a new kind of network switch – a reconfigurable optical add/drop multiplexer, or ROADM, for short – on its Dallas area network.
According to Fuetsch, the ROADMs were designed with two key points in mind: software control to allow the switches to automatically detect and adjust bandwidth and capacity and switch traffic to different lanes as necessary, and open hardware to facilitate interoperability. And it was the latter that AT&T was so jazzed about this go around.
In Dallas, Fuetsch said AT&T connected two high-capacity IP/MPLS routers with transponders and ROADMs from Ciena and Fujitsu to implement a 100-gigabit per second optical wavelength in its production network. The interoperable ROADMs also support the aforementioned full software control as outlined in the Open ROADM specification, he noted.
On a wireless network that has seen data traffic skyrocket more than 150,000 percent from 2007 to 2015, Fuetsch said ROADMs are one of the “workhorse” technologies that will allow AT&T to meet customer needs faster. It will also allow AT&T to mix and match equipment in each market based on capability and price.
“Tech-speak aside, what’s important here is that our vision announced in March is now a reality,” Fuetschwrote. “We expect to expand this capability across our AT&T network. And that means we can continue to support all the data-hungry applications our customers love – everything from the just-launched DIRECTV NOW to all the future apps and services that don’t even exist yet.”
Filed Under: Infrastructure