The rise of technologies available to improve business efficiencies has increased demand for data capacity. Existing communications networks are becoming increasingly congested as more businesses rely on information and communication technology (ICT) and the exponential growth in applications to conduct their operations and yield improvements in productivity.

Features and characteristics of evolving networks such as live video streaming (eg CCTV monitoring or video conferencing), unified communications, corporate networking (eg cloud networks, email, and internet), process control or autonomous operations are becoming common place. This has generated an expectation that ICT networks will satisfy and meet the demand.

Some existing communications systems use optical fibre networks which may utilise legacy technologies that rely on Time Division Multiplexing (TDM) with capacity ranging from 2Mbps to 2.5Gbps. These networks can often be restrictive in terms of available capacity, efficiency, scalability and flexibility to support whole of business requirements.

It is often undesirable to share network data capacity across multiple business units due to congestion issues or restrictions in communications equipment for future scalability. Optic fibre utilisation efficiency is often compromised or become completely utilised as more communications equipment is installed for various business applications.

The recent explosion of online television streaming, smart phones and mobile data has also put pressure on existing networks to deliver sufficient data capacity. Network providers or data centres often seek links delivering 100Gbps or more to meet demand. Moreover, Internet usage is still skyrocketing, primarily due to demand for next-generation services such as quadruple play, video distribution, IPTV, and an array of high-bandwidth services.

Depending on the scenario there are a number of options available to increase capacity of legacy optic fibre networks whether it means retaining your existing optical network equipment or plant.  Some methods to increase capacity over existing single mode fibre networks include:

  • Upgrading SFPs in existing equipment to SFPs tuned to coarse wavelength division multiplexing (CWDM) frequencies in conjunction with passive optical filters. This will enable you to use existing equipment whilst utilising less fibres.
  • Installing new CWDM or dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM) equipment, enabling multiple systems to be integrated into multiple wavelength channels over the same fibre pair.
  • Adding channels to an occupied CWDM system is possible by adding DWDM equipment operating within certain wavelength channels of the existing CWDM system.
  • Upgrading transponders from 10G to 40G or 100G allows greater fibre capacity while using existing DWDM equipment. It must be noted that interference may occur between conventional 10G channels and 40G systems using DP-QPSK modulation.
  • In the near future, DWDM super channels will become available increasing capability to provide single channels greater than 100Gbps. This could be used to efficiently bundle multiple client signals into a single virtualised DWDM super channel at 500Gbps or 1Tbps.

Titan’s White Paper “Increasing capacity in legacy optical networks” which explores optical modulation advancements, WDM technologies, optical transport networks and DWDM super channels is scheduled for release next month. Follow us on LinkedIn to be notified of its release.