Optical Network Gear Providers Join In Interoperability Demo

The Optical Internetworking Forum has attracted 13 vendors for its second worldwide interoperability demonstration.



LONDON — The Optical Internetworking Forum has attracted 13 leading vendors for its second worldwide interoperability demonstration.

This year's optical interoperability event began last month at seven carrier host locations, and will be officially unveiled at the Supercomm trade show that takes place June 7 to 9 in Chicago.

Products and systems being tested for interoperability include routers, multi-service provisioning platforms, SONET/SDH cross-connects, optical switches, optical add-drop multiplexers (OADMs) and reconfigurable OADMs (ROADMs).

Participating companies include Alcatel, Avici Systems, Ciena Corporation, Cisco Systems, Inc., Fujitsu, Huawei Technologies, Lambda Optical Systems, Lucent Technologies, Mahi Networks, Marconi, Nortel, Sycamore Networks and Tellabs. Test equipment is being supplied by Navtel Communications.

Seven carriers are participating, including AT&T, China Telecom, Deutsche Telekom, France Telecom, NTT Laboratories, Telecom Italia and Verizon. The carrier hosts are providing test facilities, engineering staff and real-time network connectivity continuously from through mid-June.

The vendors are on-site at carrier lab locations in Asia, Europe and North America establishing connections and building regional networks. When regional connectivity is complete and evaluated the event will culminate in a live, global real-time network test.

Testing is focused on the integration of a distributed optical control plane with Ethernet over SONET/SDH adaptation using GFP-F, VCAT and LCAS.

Participants stress the test of a distributed control plane is the first test of its kind that explores the technical issues of multi-layer signaling and routing in such a network. The OIF's control plane solution allows carriers to provide more service efficiently, by automating provisioning and optimizing utilization of existing carrier network infrastructure.

"It is a monumental accomplishment to get 20 of the world's leading optical technology carriers and suppliers to collaborate on a global scale," said Jim Jones of Alcatel, who is also the current OIF Technical Committee chair. "Interoperability demonstrations like these are essential stepping stones that bring leading edge technology out of the labs and into operational networks. They demonstrate the maturity of the technology and give carriers confidence in multi-vendor support."

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