The update will see Cisco deploy its latest Aggregation Services Router (ASR) technology across TIM’s Optical Packet Metro (OPM) network. The OPM network is the backbone of TIM’s infrastructure, acting as an aggregation point for fixed and mobile connections.
The deployment will include new automation mechanisms and software-defined networking (SDN) technology. Once installed, Cisco is claiming the ability to provision 100 Gb/s IP connectivity to metropolitan areas.
SDN control over optical networks can allow operators to manage port speeds, protocols, and wavelengths; support more advanced modulation and detection schemes; and provide for flexible wavelength routing via dynamic reconfigurable optical add-drop multiplexers (ROADM).
Cisco said the enhancements will provide greater operational efficiency and control, including the ability to launch new business models “that can facilitate the adoption of 5G technology.”
TIM recently said it plans to update the mobile sites of its network in the Republic of San Marino with 4.5G technology as well as some 5G features. The updates are set to begin later this year.
Optical Network Growth
A number of large operators are looking to bolster their optical networking infrastructure in support of growing demand across wired and wireless networks.
Verizon said it recently showed interoperability of next-generation passive optical networking infrastructure using NG-PON2 technology. The carrier plans to control the technology using its SDN architecture.
A Communications Industry Researchers report predicts the optical networking industry will account for nearly 60 percent of the $2 billion spent on 5G backhaul by 2022. NG-PON2 is expected to dominate the segment, with more than $890 million spent on the technology.
AT&T said it plans to conduct a 10-gigabit symmetric PON (XGS-PON) trial later this year as part of its plan to virtualize access functions within the last mile of its fiber network. Services to be supported include broadband and backhaul of wired and 5G wireless services.
IHS Markit recently noted the optical networking market was seeing increased pressure to adopt open software solutions “to deliver more open and interoperable optical networks.”
The pressure has seen a number of initiatives launched toward that goal, including the Open ROADM MultiSource Agreement, the Telecom Infra Project’s Open Optical Packet Transport Group, the Open Networking Foundation (ONF), and Optical Interworking Forum (OIF).