Rising demand is accelerating the rollout of high-bandwidth services like 10 Gigabit Symmetrical Passive Optical Networking (XGS-PON) for broadband access and 5G xHaul mobile transport, fueling explosive growth in capacity requirements at the network edge. With this exponentially greater bandwidth demand at the edge comes the imperative for parallel growth in middle mile/transport throughput. If your network isn’t there yet it soon will be, with 25G PON on the horizon and 50G PON and even 100G PON not far off.

While conventional 100G-400G coherent optical solutions could theoretically deliver the required capacity, these typically very large units need commercial temperature control. This proves very costly to deploy into the access edge or middle mile. Thus, coherent optics have largely been confined to the core networks between the central office and metro offices (see Figure 1).

Operators that need high-speed coherent optics outside their office environments today are forced to install expensive air-conditioning units or heat exchangers to control the temperature in large outside plant cabinets or huts. These scenarios not only add significant cost and complexity, but also introduce numerous potential points of failure.

Figure 1: The optical gap

Bridging the Optical Gap

What is needed to bridge the “optical gap” and bring 100G-400G (and beyond) coherent optics to the access edge and middle mile is compact, modular, fully hardened, outside plant equipment that can withstand -40C to +65C temperatures while supporting high-bandwidth coherent optical transport.

While coherent optics have proven challenging to harden, DZS has met this challenge head-on with the recent release of our new Saber-4400 platform, the first compact, modular, environmentally hardened transport solution capable of carrying 400 gibabits per second (Gbps) of traffic per wavelength across coherent optics over distances up to 120km. This open, pluggable, 1Rack Unit (1RU) solution scales from 100G to 400G up to 1.6 Terabits per second across multiple wavelengths.

The Saber-4400 does not require heat exchangers or air conditioning units, so it can be deployed in a small cabinet—significantly reducing deployment costs in a wide range of situations from cell towers to remote fiber communities to urban densification.

“Deploy Anywhere Solution”

For transport applications, a service provider may have XGS-PON or even 25G PON Optical Line Terminals (OLTs) in place today. To transport an uplink of more than a single circuit (e.g., greater than 100 Gbps) long-range from those OLTs back to the network core, some type of coherent optical technology is required. However, until now only commercial temperature coherent optics have been available for this application. The Saber-4400 is the first solution that can transport coherent circuits in outside plant environments (see Figure 2).

Figure 2: Hardened coherent optics for the edge

The Saber-4400 is a one-stop, “deploy anywhere” solution that can work with any network upgrade or transformation approach in any environment, worldwide. This first-of-its-kind solution enables you to bring bandwidth typically reserved for the core/metro parts of your network all the way out to the edge. Greenfield sites can be built out faster without a need for environmental controls. And brownfield locations, specifically existing outside plant cabinets, can be upgraded up to 400 Gbps and beyond without being overhauled.

For example, if you plan to expand your network into a new neighborhood or a new city, deploying Saber-4400 units will save you from replacing outside cabinets with air-conditioned huts. This allows you to deliver equivalent or better services with a more modular, simplified approach that eliminates a major source of transport failures (air conditioners) versus commercial temperature OLTs.

Another way the Saber-4400 can save service providers money is its open support for pluggable optics from multiple manufacturers, permitting a vendor-agnostic, “pay-as-you-grow” upgrade approach that maximizes current investments and future choice.

The Saber-4400 also includes a multi-degree CDC FlexGrid ROADM (Reconfigurable Optical Add/Drop Multiplexer) functionality for fine-grained, flexible configuration control to meet dynamic bandwidth demands.

To find out more about our innovative new Saber-4400 platform, visit dzsi.com/product/saber-4400/.

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Posted By Jason Lauzon