The New Transport Network: From Open Transponders to Disaggregated Cell Site Gateways

By Lisa Crewe | Posted on October 17, 2018

The formation of the Open Optical & Packet Transport (OOPT) group within the Telecom Infra Project (TIP) has led to industry collaboration to build open solutions with greater integration, higher reliability, and faster time-to-market.

The group, including Acacia Communications, has been developing solutions to disaggregate network infrastructures and provide more flexibility to build and operate telecom networks.

TIP Summit 2018-2

This week, at TIP Summit 2018, TIP announced some of the remarkable progress and accomplishments made by the group in the last year:

1. Software, system and component vendors create and contribute TAI: The Transponder Abstraction Interface – Inspired by the success and wide adoption of Switch Abstraction Interfaces (SAI) from the Open Compute Project (OCP), TAI brings together disparate parties from optical network systems developers, Network Operating System (NOS) vendors, and optical subsystem/module manufacturers by providing an abstract software interface for quicker integration. NTT and Cumulus Networks have been collaborating with Acacia Communications, Fujitsu Optical Components, IP Infusion, and Oclaro in contributing the interface definitions and executing the first implementation.

The ecosystem partners are demonstrating TAI at the TIP Summit this week. The demonstration using Edgecore’s Cassini open packet transponder, which includes the Acacia CFP2-DCO pluggable coherent module, will show TAI enabling the integration of coherent optical interfaces based on merchant DSPs running on Cassini, a hardware platform designed and contributed to TIP by Edgecore Networks.

TIP Summit 2018-1

2. Operators disaggregate the cell site gateway with “Odyssey” – Four major global mobile operators have collaborated to define the next-generation of a critical device within the mobile network which connects the equipment that serves people’s phones to the rest of the operator network, the Disaggregated Cell Site Gateway.

3. Voyager becomes commercially available – Also at TIP Summit, ADVA announced the industry-first open and disaggregated converged packet/optical transponder, which includes the Acacia AC400 coherent module. The Voyager packet optical terminal essentially combines optical transport with packet switching and routing in one extremely compact device. This final milestone is a true testament of how effectively contributors in the OOPT group have collaborated.

TIP Summit 2018-3

We’re proud to be a part of the progress and accomplishments made by the OOPT group in 2018. The group has clear focus on solving real issues and driving results by combining valuable experience of global operators and supplier partners. The Telecom Infra Project invites other partners to join this initiative and work together on the exciting future of optical networking.