by TIP News

The impact of TIP (Telecom Infra Project) on the transformation of optical transport networks is unmistakable. The TIP MUST (Mandatory Use-cases for SDN Transport) and MANTRA subgroups (Metaverse-ready Architectures for Transport Networks) are at the forefront of this evolution. These subgroups have led the charge in implementing an open optical transport disaggregation strategy, marking a pivotal moment in the industry’s progress, driving the key performance indicators (KPIs) that reflect the successful adoption of TIP’s technical requirements, and showcasing concrete results that are shaping the future.

2023 brought about a groundbreaking collaboration between the Open NOS (Network Operating System) and Optical Disaggregated Systems (DOS) subgroups within the OOPT project group. Their combined efforts have led to the development of the industry’s very first open whitebox optical transponder solution, enriched by the capabilities of SDN (Software-Defined Networking). This ecosystem has flourished, particularly in Japan driven by NTT Communications, one of the most active operators in the OOPT community this year, and it fosters interactions with parallel ecosystems, signifying an era of unprecedented progress.


Success stories in OOPT

The deployment of Disaggregated Cell Site Gateways (DCSG) continues its impressive expansion, marking a pivotal moment in the telecommunications landscape. Notably, it has seen several new commercial deployments, including those by MTN in South Sudan and Cameroon, Vodafone in Turkey, Telcom Group in the UK, and Spectra in India. These deployments have collectively rolled out over 400 nodes, underlining the industry’s growing reliance on DCSG technology.

In a parallel development, the introduction of the Disaggregated Distributed Broadband Router (DDBR), featuring P & IGW router capabilities, has commenced with pioneering deployments by Turkcell and KDDI. This milestone carries live internet traffic and is poised to revolutionize network infrastructure efficiency. Notably, KDDI expects to achieve a substantial reduction in power consumption by approximately 46% and a significant reduction in rack space usage by about 40% when compared to traditional routers, reflecting a tangible step toward sustainability and cost-efficiency.

Another remarkable endeavor unfolds as Multinet collaborates with TIP to construct the world’s largest Open Optical Transport Network, anchored by Cassini technology. This ambitious project spans an impressive 83 nodes, covers a staggering 7,000 kilometers, and encompasses over 120 cities across Pakistan. The scale and scope of this initiative underscore the capabilities and potential of open optical solutions.

Lastly, the deployment of the Phoenix platform has reached a significant milestone with its first commercial deployment in South Africa, orchestrated by Teraco. This accomplishment is complemented by ongoing trials conducted by industry giants such as MTN, NTT, Orange, and Telefónica. These trials demonstrate the platform’s versatility and its potential to revolutionize network operations across diverse global contexts. The stage is set for these initiatives to reshape the telecommunications landscape, driving efficiency, scalability, and innovation within the industry.

Telefónica and Orange are joining forces in a collaborative effort to conduct comprehensive testing of Open Optical Terminals utilizing SDN open and standard APIs, aligning with the TIP MUST requirements and test plan. The early feedback from the participating vendors underscores the immense value of this community-driven testing approach, which enhances our understanding of operators’ requirements and addresses their critical interoperability needs.

It is noteworthy that Telefónica brings a wealth of experience to the table in this technology domain. They have already initiated production deployments of MUST standard and open APIs as a pivotal component of their innovative IFUSION technology.


Community Engagement and Collaboration

The OOPT project has gained momentum with active participation from over 15 telecom operators and over-the-top service providers. More than 20 technical requirement documents and use case definitions have been produced since 2021.

The vendor community has embraced OOPT technical requirements, with over 35 products receiving certification through the TIP Test and Validation program. Additionally, the introduction of bronze badges, awarded to MUST-compliant SDN-Controller solutions northbound and southbound interfaces, showcases the growing ecosystem, with key partnerships formed with Edgecore, Drivenets, and Capgemini.

For more detailed information, please visit the TIP Exchange website.

In 2023, the OOPT project group’s endeavors have shaped the present and laid the foundation for a future where optical transport networks are more interconnected and innovative than ever. We are looking forward to 2024, developing more innovations, testing and validating more products, and enabling OOPT solution industrialization.

We will dedicate time to the ever-evolving landscape of Open Pluggables, notably ZR and ZR+, which have significantly influenced the industry. Additionally, we will be taking a closer look at the ongoing challenges around Software-Defined Networking (SDN) and will be working on turning them into opportunities for progress. These aspects together contribute to a comprehensive perspective on how the OOPT project group is shaping the industry towards open and sustainable transport networks.

Operators need network automation to accelerate end-to-end service delivery and improve network operations. Optical networks are also concerned and face an additional challenge because deployed solutions are usually sold as vendors’ turn-key solutions, which makes multi-vendor networks complex to automate. In this context, openness and standardization appear as key to simplifying automation in multi-vendor networks. We believe that this can be introduced with a step-by-step approach, starting with the non-disaggregated situation, followed by partial and full disaggregation architectures.

A truly game changer in the optical disaggregated transport environment is GNPy (Gaussian Noise Model in Python) open source software developed by the Physical Simulation Environment Group (PSE) at OOPT. While traditional system vendors have developed their proprietary models and planning software tools for their optical systems, with multi-vendor network deployments this approach is no longer realistic, especially considering the sensitivity of some of the optical planning required data.

MUST operators are closely looking at the use cases enabled by GNPy and the definition of an Optical Planning and Physical Impairment validation tool requirements has already started. This is just another example of good collaboration between OOPT subgroups.

Goldstone is another good example of how open source flourished in OOPT and the perfect case of OOPT subgroup’s collaboration. Goldstone NOS is a modularized and container-based open-source Network Operating System (NOS) driven by the NOS subgroup.

This cutting-edge NOS has become a driving force within the OOPT project group, empowering the development of commercial TIP compliant products by different system vendors and software providers like NEC and IPinfusion. The portfolio of disaggregated whitebox solutions supplied by Goldstone NOS including the Cassini (Edgecore AS7716-24SC), Phoenix (Wistron Galileo Flex-T), DCSG (Edgecore CSR320), and recently Edgecore AGR400, which is a candidate to supply the plans of the DOR subgroup for the upcoming year with the planned release of the new Disaggregated Aggregation Router (DAR) project.


Roadmap: Looking ahead to Q4 and beyond:

MUST Optical Workstream : We plan to complete ongoing test plans, evolve to version 2.0 of technical requirements, and develop end-to-end solution test plans for Gold Badge Commercial-ready solutions.

MUST IP Workstream: Our team will focus on refining detail technical requirement documents, vendor compliance evaluations, and enhancing the API-based OpenConfig model requirements. We are also categorizing requirements by Router role, starting with a general category and the Cell Site Gateway role.

DDBR: Evaluation of the first vendor-compliant version of the DDBR-P and Internet Gateway (IGW) solution is in progress, with an expected completion by year-end. DDBR-PE workstream is making significant progress, and the detailed technical requirements document will be released by the end of October, with vendor evaluations ongoing until Q1 2024.

DCSG: DSCG v2.0 technical requirements document was released in September, and vendor compliance evaluations are underway, with results expected by year-end.

MANTRA: The release of the first IP over DWDM whitepaper has led to a soft Request for Information (RFI) seeking top-tier partners for technology requirements evaluation via a Proof of Concept. Challenges around interoperability and standards have been identified, and discussions with vendors are ongoing. Join us at FYUZ Open Transport Summit for insightful panel sessions featuring operators like Telefónica and Vodafone, along with vendors such as Ciena, Nokia, and IPInfusion, where we will delve into the exciting opportunities and challenges in the IPoDWDM market.

Stay tuned for more updates as we continue to drive innovation and collaboration in the world of Open Optical Transport!

Join us at Fyuz OOPT Summits, where we will go through the progress achieved by the OOPT project group, a testament to their dedication and impact on the industry and the plans for 2024. Learn more about the agenda and register here: