The results of Infonetics Research OTN Deployment Strategies survey show that OTN switching will play a leading and significant role in the regional and long haul networks of most, but not all carriers. “Most notable is the fact that about three-quarters of the service providers interviewed plan to deploy OTN switching (see comment below). This sample represents 90% of all respondent capex, which means most optical dollars will be spent by carriers with OTN switching,” according to Andrew Shmitt, Infonetics Principal Analyst for Optical Networks.
Aparently there is no agreement on whether layer 2 switching features should be combined into OTN hardware, but Shmitt suggested, “A few carriers we thought were in the ‘strict OSI segregationist’ camp now show interest in embracing unified L0+L1+L2 solutions—a bit of a shock!”
Infonetics’ recent OTN Hardware Market Outlook report revealed that OTN switching and transport hardware composed 45% of global optical equipment spending in the first half of 2011. Infonetics expects this figure to grow to 70% of the total by 2015, or $10.6 billion, with OTN switching growing much more quickly than OTN transport.
Infonetics analysts interviewed 21 service providers from around the world for the survey; the operators collectively account for more than one-third of global telecom revenue and capex, according to the market research firm. The survey aimed to answer such questions as:
How much OTN switching will be used in metro and core nodes?
What size these switches need to be.
How they will be managed.
Size requirements of OTN switch fabrics.
Whether ODU-flex is an important feature.
The level of carrier interest in OTN and to what degree it is already deployed.
ADDITIONAL OTN SURVEY HIGHLIGHTS:
Current and projected use of metro OTN ports is increasing
Wavelength efficiency remains the key application for OTN, but service providers are rolling out more sophisticated management control planes as part of OTN switching deployments
ODU-flex is important to a small base of mostly Huawei customers
According to Infonetics, the top optical network equipment vendors in terms of global revenue are: Huawei, Alcatel-Lucent, Ciena, and ZTE. The research firm says Huawei leads in both the OTN transport and switching markets; Huawei is a WDM powerhouse with the added benefit of counting as customers China’s telecom carriers, who were the first to readily embrace all-OTN networks, including the largest installations of OTN switching.
Infonetics Research is an international market research and consulting firm serving the communications industry since 1990. A leader in defining and tracking emerging and established technologies in all world regions, Infonetics helps clients plan, strategize, and compete more effectively.
Will OTN Replace SONET/SDH?
OTN mappings for Ethernet and other data clients are far more efficient than earlier SONET/ SDH mappings. SONET/SDH and other clients can be carried transparently (with all overhead and timing) in the OTN. Rings or point-to-point connections are realizable.
OTN containers can provide optimal size trunks for existing and future clients, given the Generic Mapping Procedure (that can map any smaller bit stream into any higher rate OTN container) and the new Optical Channel Data Unit (ODU) options, including ODU0 (~1 Gbps), ODUflex (1 Gbps-100 Gbps), and ODU4 (100 Gbps).
In addition to the electrical containers like the ODUs, the OTN also includes the DWDM layer, where the optical wavelengths may carry a mix of different OTN data rate signals. With efficient mappings, right-sized containers, and any number of wavelengths the OTN is the ideal technology for supporting efficient network connections.
As a result, OTN is a lot more flexible than SONET/SDH for carrying high data rate payloads. That is why it’s being adopted now by so many carriers. However, it does require a completely new network mangement, provisioning, and OSS/BSS which may take operators some time to get fully deployed. In particular, the rapid provisioning was supposed to be done in the control plane by G.ASON/ GMPLS/ OIF UNI 2.0 standards, but that hasn’t happened. OTN provisioning remains in the management plane with network operator specific implementations.
So OTN is replacing SONET/SDH now, but the process will take many years to be complete. Much like the process and potential of “all IP” networks replacing the PSTN and TDM based transport.
Weissberger’s Comment and Analysis:
One must distinguish OTN transmission (orginally called “digital wrapper”) as per ITU-T G.709 from OTN switching (of one OTN port to another) or cross-connecting (individual ODUs within an OTN incoming and outgoing frame). Only in the last year have we started to see OTN switching and cross connects.
Other OTN Equipment Companies:
Infinera is growing their installed base and OTN gear shipments, but hasn’t made it into the top tier yet. The company made three superb presentations at the March 2012 IEEE ComSocSCV meeting. Here’s the OTN Overview presentation: