From history to future: All-optical network is an important development direction of communication network and even ICT industry

Since K.C. Kuo and G.A. Hockman proposed in 1966 that glass fiber can transmit optical signals, and clearly pointed out that the requirements of communication fiber is less than 20 decibels per kilometer attenuation, the communication field opened the era of optical fiber communication technology. Optical fiber communication technology emerges in endlessly since then, which promotes the rapid development of optical fiber communication.

In 1970, American Corning company successfully developed quartz fiber for the first time; In 1972, the first optical fiber communication experiment was successful. In 1977, the first fiber-optic communication system was successfully developed in Chicago. In 1987, Erbium-doped fiber Amplifier (EDFA) was developed by The University of Southampton. In 1992, Lucent Developed a practical WDM system. In 1996, WDM system began commercial use. In 1999, huawei launched a 32 x 10Gbit/sDWDM system for commercial use. In 2001, NEC demonstrated a 10.92Tbit/s (273 x 40Gbit/s) WDM powerless relay transfer trial on OFC.

From history to future: All-optical network is an important development direction of communication network and even ICT industryThe birth of the all-optical web

With the continuous improvement of optical fiber transmission capacity, the electronic processing system based on digital electronic technology has approached the processing upper limit of electronic components, and it is more and more difficult to further improve the processing capacity of equipment. The development speed of electronic technology has been far behind the growth rate of optical fiber capacity. Based on WDM/OTN technology, the transmission of optical signals is directly completed on optical signals, which has become the industry consensus and spawned the birth of all-optical networks. The so-called all-optical network, namely from ONT uplink, to CO site, to metropolitan area and backbone bearer, and finally to DC, adopts optical fiber as the medium for the whole link and reduces electrical layer processing and forwarding as much as possible, realizing the ideal networking mode of "jumping into the cloud".

Period of rapid development

At the OFC conference in March 2000, Agilent demonstrated the optical crossover device publicly for the first time. At the same time, Xros company exhibited the first 1152×1152 all-optical crossover device X-1000. In 2001, Agere launched 64×64 optical switch array based on MEMS technology and began commercial use; At the same time, countries all over the world are also competing to invest in financial support of all-optical network applications, such as the DARPA multi-wavelength optical network MONET, national Transparent optical network NTON and other programs, RACE, ACTS and other programs in Europe, SUCCESS in Japan, PROMETEO program in Italy, As well as China's "China High-speed information Demonstration network" national "863" major project, all-optical network into a period of high-speed development.
During this period, a variety of new technologies emerge in an endless stream, and key optical device technologies in all-optical networks have made great progress, such as tunable lasers, tunable filters and all-optical wavelength converters. All kinds of companies have proposed optical layer solutions, and in 2018, Huawei released the industry's first commercial OXC platform OSN9800 P32, which truly opened the era of all-optical switching.

During this period, data business development by leaps and bounds, FTTX broadband access way, contributed to the Internet, IPTV, video communications, such as business, data business flow more than voice services become major traffic sources, the development of the traffic flow greatly narrowed the bubble-era 2000 huge gap between market demand and technology development. The abruptness and unpredictability of data service with high bandwidth demand demand more flexible transmission network and optical layer configurable transmission equipment is increasingly favored.

At present, the huge stock of SDH/DSL equipment on the telecom network is still an important source of revenue for operators, especially some European and European operators. Therefore, the development of all-optical network can not be achieved overnight, must experience from point and surface, gradually expand the process. In the initial stage, the all-optical network will be presented in different forms in different fields. In backbone network and metropolitan core network, it will be presented as all-optical switched network of ROADM/OXC. On the access network, FTTH/FTTR is displayed. Compared with 20 years ago, the biggest change now is that FTTX has become a consensus to replace copper wire. With the rise of bandwidth demand and the emergence of cost-effective technologies, SDH/DSL and other equipment are being replaced at a faster pace. All-optical networking and jumping into the cloud are no longer the ideal on paper.

Choice of leading regions: All-optical networks have become a key link in the development of a green digital economy and communication networks in Europe
In October 2020, The Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) has officially adopted the Very High Capacity Network VHCN guidelines, For all optical network industry expansion work is undoubtedly injected a shot in the arm. In comparison with the value proposition of "green and digital twin" mentioned in the European Revitalization Plan issued by the European Commission in July 2020 and the gigabit social policies issued by the European Commission, the intersection of Policy, Plan and Guidelines is all light.

There are a lot of things to consider here, but there's one truth that can't be ignored: Around 90% of Internet traffic in Europe is carried by fixed broadband (FBB). As work and services move online during the pandemic, stable, environmentally friendly and ultra-low latency all-optical networks are becoming more important to meet the growing demand for connectivity, and are ideal for both Wi-Fi 6 and 5G.

In this context, a ubiquitous and reliable digital infrastructure is crucial, with the latest figures showing that fibre deployment across Europe is accelerating. Fibre-optic networks, which are the only future-oriented infrastructure and offer significant energy savings, are an important part of Europe's economic recovery and key to achieving its ambitious green goals.

Looking back on the history, we can see a clear context, that is, the development of the network originated from the actual needs of end-users, accelerated by innovative technologies, and finally formed industry and social consensus under the joint action of a variety of factors, and was determined as the direction of the future. For all-optical networks, business requirements and technological innovation are already mature. At present, the biggest social consensus is green and low-carbon. As the most energy-saving and efficient communication technology, all-optical networks are naturally characterized by green and low-carbon characteristics.

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